Topinambour on the table

I’m still seeing topinambour in the supermarket produce section and for the past 2 months, have been using them in a variety of recipe ideas to see which ones I like best. To tell the truth, I thought I’d be sick of eating them by now – they do generate that, uhm, extra bit of wind – but that is hardly the case, seeing how versatile they are in the kitchen.

Supermarket topinambour
Cleaned free of dirt and ready to prepare. The price runs about 2.50€/pound.

Ways to cook topinambour
In cod brandade, korean pickles (aka kimchi but I didn’t ferment mine), and quiche.

As chips!

Salmon packets Salmone al cartoccio
En papillote with fish and other root vegs. This is my favorite way to cook salmon steaks as there’s no pot to wash – just toss the paper pouch away at the end. Season with herbs like dill, thyme or parsley and sea salt. I bake the packets at 200°C/390°F (fan on) for around 20 minutes and everything comes out perfectly done and tender.

Topinambour bagna caôda

This last one will seem familiar if you saw the bagna cauda posts in October. In the town of Carignano, they make their bagna cauda without garlic and use topinambour instead. MotH and I like garlic in ours, so I’ve added it to the recipe although it’s fine if you leave it out.

Topinambour Bagna Caôda
1/2 pound of topinambour/sunchokes
1 head of garlic
4 oz. anchovies in salt
1 cup olive oil
2 oz. walnuts, finely chopped
1-2 dried hot pepper, crumbled (I use the tiny ones)

1. Clean and trim skins off sunchokes; cut into segments of equal size. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add sunchokes and cook until tender. Drain and put through a potato ricer or mash thoroughly with a fork.

2. Remove skins off each garlic clove and mince fine or put through garlic press.

3. Prepare anchovies by rinsing them free of salt and removing the main bone.

4. Heat anchovies in the olive oil over a low flame and cook until they dissolve. Stir in the minced garlic, mashed sunchokes, walnuts and hot pepper. Continue to cook over a low flame until mixture is heated through. If you want a more uniform consistency, use a hand blender and pulse with quick bursts. Spoon into individual fojòt to serve.


7 thoughts on “Topinambour on the table

  1. Anonymous

    Will they grow in your garden? I have a bumper crop this year. They are a no fuss plant. They make a pleasant tall hedge topped with yellow, daisy-like flowers. They can take over the whole garden if you neglect to harvest all of the tubers:-).


    1. Rowena

      Take over the garden?! They sound like the nettles that dominated the garden before we bought the place. If sunchokes can handle heavy clay soil, I think I’d prefer them to stinging nettles!


      1. Anonymous

        Yes, even in clay soils. If you don’t have a local nursery source/seed catalog that does not have the sunchoke tubers, just buy some at your local market or farmer’s market. Since it is recommended that you plant it in warm soil, you can start a few in pots indoors with a grow light in the Spring then very gently transplant them once the soil warms. They may go through some transplant shock at first, but most will recover. After that, you can just harvest what you want in the Fall and leave some tubers in the ground for the next season:-) Here is more information about them:


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