And so it goes (French Fridays with Dorie: Roasted Jerusalem Artochokes with Garlic)

The ugly parade continues here at French Fridays with Dorie.

Celery root.

Monk fish.

Jerusalem artichokes.

Faces that only a momma could love.

But what these ingredients may lack in appearance, they more than make up for in flavor.

Apparently, Jerusalem artichokes (aka sun chokes) are native to the Eastern United States and Canada.

Well, I have lived here all my life and if they are native, they do a great job staying hidden. It is easier to find exotic ingredients like truffles (canned or jarred, of course) and snails than the roots of this supposedly native plant.

Maybe they have been hanging out with Saxy, the Mermaid that is supposed to live in the Reservoir that I live near... (she only seems to have been seen by construction workers leaving the bar late on a Friday night... just saying.)

A few rounds of beer may be enough to make Saxy appear; unfortunately, it is not quite so easy with Jerusalem artichokes.

I started eye-balling the grocery stores for sun chokes about two years ago. Last winter, I finally found some. Realizing that these were not an easy find, I grabbed them up and made both recipes. And photo documented it - not knowing when, if ever, I would find them again. Tossed in olive oil and lightly roasted with salt, garlic and rosemary, these ugly little tubers were a real treat.

Fast forward a year, I did find one sad looking bag of sun chokes in a local market. I bought them of course.

Next week, French Fridays is taking a break from this month's ugly parade to celebrate: Dorie's birthday, the release of her newest book Baking Chez Moi and last, but not least, to celebrate four years of cooking along with French Fridays with Dorie.

But don't worry, we'll pick right up with our ugly coverage the following week when we cook with beef shanks.

Peace out.


This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie.


  1. Haha...ugly week continues, but at least I wasn't against sampling any of this month's features. Some of our upcoming recipes do sound downright scary, though. Guess we'll see!!!! And who knew these were common in the NE? I pulled a Kathy and bought mine on ebay.

  2. As I mentioned to Betsy, if we started with these ugly vegetables we would
    have all quit a long time ago. I could not find any this week but I hope
    that I can make this soon as everyone's dish looks so good. Cher, thank
    you for your good wishes for our anniversary, it turned out to be a
    wonderful celebration.

  3. To the veal shanks' defense, I don't think they are ugly. Not photogenic? Absolutely.

    Saxy and the Sunchokes sounds like a good name for a cover band.

  4. I should have done what you did when they were in the market last winter (I always see them here, even though they're not a west coast thing). They won't be showing up again until later, probably because they need cold weather before they're harvested. They look delicious!

  5. Oh no - there's not another JA recipe is there? You were the smart one, buying them and looking ahead when you saw them. Me, I am always playing the substitution game. Your JAs look good!

  6. Cher, loved reading your post on this very early Sunday morning...ugly ingredients, great food...I am looking forward to next Friday, cannot wait for all those Dorie tributes on her birthday!
    Have a wonderful Sunday - how are the girls doing?

  7. Ugly ingredients don't necessarily mean not tasty though, right? I can't wait for some pretty next week!

  8. Smart thinking of getting both JA recipes when you got them back then!

  9. I’m with Mardi…looking forward to some pretty this week!
    You were quite smart to make these when you saw them. I went to several stores and farmer markets, and was told they never carry JA. One produce person told me I should go dig them up…at that point I didn’t even know what they looked like. Oh well! Thank goodness for e-bay!
    Loved your post, Cher…I have a feeling the parade of ugly will continue as we tackle the last six months of recipes. Have a great week!

  10. The appearance is fine, it looks so healthy and tastily spiced!

    Choc Chip Uru

  11. I love your posts Cher!
    If I ever visit your part of the woods I'll be keeping Saxy in mind :)
    Your dish looks good!

  12. My local Whole Foods seems to be quite well-stocked with Jerusalem artichokes this time of year, so no hunting around for me! It's interesting what is hard/easy to find in different regions of the country.


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