Neither from Jerusalem nor an artichoke, this misunderstood native American tuber is actually a kind of sunflower, or girasole in Italian. The sunchoke, as it’s also known, is nutty, rich in iron, satisfyingly crunchy, and particularly well suited to the pickling treatment it gets from City Bakery savory chef Ilene Rosen. It’s also one of the late-winter holdouts at the Greenmarket, among the rest of the roots and tubers. --Robin Raisfeld & Rob Patronite
1 pound Jerusalem artichokes
2 cups rice vinegar
11/2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 large clove garlic, smashed
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
Scrub unpeeled Jerusalem artichokes and (1) slice into pieces about 1/4-inch thick. Set aside. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small pot.
(2) Bring to a boil over medium heat and stir.
(3) Pour hot liquid over Jerusalem artichokes in a nonreactive bowl. Allow to cool on counter. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, ideally 24, and consume within a week.