It should have been my celebration meal.

Smoked bison loin, watercress salad, corn succotash and sunchoke soup.

I was in DC for the Marine Corps Marathon. But I wasn’t running the race. Three months earlier I sprained my ankle, making it impossible to train for 26.2 miles.

The trip to DC became memorable for other things, particularly a trip to the Native American Museum. Spectacular exhibits, even more spectacular food. The Mitsitam Cafe serves all foods indigenous to North America. It was there that I had my first taste of sunchokes, also known as jerusalem artichokes.

Jerusalem artichokes are not artichokes at all or even in the same plant family. They are the roots of sunflowers and get their name from a faulty Italian translation, “girasole artichoke.” Girasole translates to sunflower and I have no idea how that turned into jerusalem. And the artichoke is an even bigger mystery. I think sunchoke is the more appropriate name.

Whatever you call them, they are mighty tasty, like a cross between an artichoke and a starchy potato. One cup is rich in potassium too, containing 650 mg.

For the March edition of the Local Eats Project, I went back to our historical roots, deep into the soil with beautiful jerusalem artichokes paired with red kale and brown rice.

Here are the farmer market ingredients I took home:

2 lbs jerusalem artichokes        $10.00    ($5.00 per lb)
1 bunch red kale                   $4.00   ($4.00 per bunch)
3  shallots     $1.85    ($4.00 per lb)

TOTAL $15.85 (to serve 6 people)


I’d love to see your Local Eats Project recipes! Post the recipe, photos and cost of your meal on your website or any social media site and share the love of local food. #localeatsproject


Jerusalem Artichokes and Braised Kale Rice PilafJerusalem Artichokes and Braised Kale Rice PilafJerusalem Artichokes and Braised Kale Rice PilafJerusalem Artichokes and Braised Kale Rice PilafJerusalem Artichokes and Braised Kale Rice Pilaf

Jerusalem Artichokes and Braised Kale Rice Pilaf
Serves 6
Nutty, comforting flavors of jerusalem artichokes, kale and creamy rice.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
35 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
35 min
  1. 2 lbs jerusalem artichokes/sunchokes - chopped
  2. 2 cups kale - stems removed and torn into pieces
  3. ½ cup shallots - sliced
  4. 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  5. ½ tsp salt
  6. ½ tsp garam masala
  7. ¼ tsp black pepper
  8. 1 tbsp olive oil
  9. PILAF
  10. 1 ½ cups brown rice
  11. 3 cardamom seeds
  12. 1 cinnamon stick
  13. 1 bay leaves
  14. ½ tsp salt
  1. Begin by preparing the rice. Soak in a mason jar with 1 ½ cups water for 30 minutes.
  2. While the rice is soaking, place the jerusalem artichokes, kale, shallots, broth and ¼ tsp salt in a large pot. Bring to a low boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low and stir in the garam masala, pepper and the rest of the salt. Partially cover pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. Make a spice bag with the cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf. I do this with a piece of cheese cloth tied up with cooking twine.
  5. In a large pot, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. All the salt, spice bag and rice. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Rice is done when you can fluff it with a fork.
  6. Remove from heat and combine the rice with the vegetables.
  7. Drizzle olive oil over everything and toss together.
Sparkle Kitchen
Jerusalem Artichokes and Braised Kale Rice Pilaf

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