For all that sunchokes thrive in the earth, they are a bit sulky once uprooted. Because of the high moisture content, sunchokes bruise easily, so handle them with care. In the refrigerator, they’ll keep for a good week stored in a plastic bag. They also do well in cold storage.
Sunchokes’ water content also means they shouldn’t be frozen raw. If you have a bumper crop and no root cellar, cook and puree them with a bit of lemon juice to prevent browning, then freeze in small portions to be used later in soup.
Raw, sunchokes’ crisp texture and slight sweetness make them ideal for salads. Just scrub or peel them, slice them thinly and add them to your favourite bed of greens. The only trick, other than cleaning them, is to put them in a bowl of water with lemon juice while preparing them so they won’t turn brown.
Cooked, sunchokes make a great substitute for parsnips or turnips. However, they turn to mush quickly so don’t boil them. Instead roast or steam them. To avoid the issue of disintegrating tubers use them in soup. Not only do they add a distinctive, nutty flavour, they create a lovely, velvety texture when pureed.