Confronted with a pile of sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes) from my CSA that needed attention before I left town, I was inspired by The Victory Garden Cookbook to turn them into pickles. My approach was quite different from Marian Morash's (starting with the decision NOT to peel the chokes: I was in a hurry here). I also used a generous amount of fennel seeds to flavor these, along with mustard seeds and turmeric. The end result was a deliciously crisp and crunchy condiment, with the slightly citrus flavor of the tubers shining through the vinegar brine. I found that these were the perfect accompaniment to chicken liver pate (using the food52 Tuscan chicken liver pate recipe from gluttonforlife). —Fairmount_market
Scrub the sunchokes very well with a vegetable brush and remove any stringy bits. Prepare a bowl of salty cold water with lemon juice for brining the sunchokes, with 1 Tbsp kosher salt for each cup of water (you will need about 4 cups).
Slice the sunchokes into thin slices (about 1/8 inch thick) and submerge the slices into the brine. Cover and let soak overnight.
The next day, prepare the pickling vinegar by combining in a small sauce pan the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and spcies. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sugar dissolves, about five minutes.
Let the vinegar cool for a moment while you rinse the sunchoke slices and pack them into clean glass jars. 2 pint jars or one quart jar should work. Now pour the vinegar solution over the sunchoke slices and press them down to submerge them. Seal the jars loosely, let them cool and then refrigerate. The pickles will be good to eat in a day and will keep for a few weeks.
I'm a biology professor and mother of two, and in my (limited) free time I love to cook, which is much more forgiving than laboratory science. Last year I helped start a farmers market in my neighborhood, and to promote it, I created a food blog: fairmountmarket.blogspot.com. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with recipes for local, seasonal ingredients and finding fun ways to cook with my children.