Illustrations by John BurgoynePhoto: Kang Kim

Sure, that pleasure-seeker who first slurped an oyster was an intrepid sort, but he had nothing on the fearless fresser who first tucked into a plate of crosnes (pronounced crones). Despite their frightful, wormy looks, the tiny tubers are prized by chefs for their nutty sunchokelike flavor and crunchy radishy texture. The only problem is that they’re difficult to harvest. So much so that Rick Bishop of Mountain Sweet Berry Farms ran out of time and patience collecting them at season’s end last November. His solution was to blanket the crop with a protective layer of straw and dig them up in time for his return to Union Square Greenmarket this Saturday. Try these “overwintered” crosnes sautéed in butter, pickled, or in this unusual recipe from Annisa’s Anita Lo, below.

Anita Lo’s Chilled Coconut-Fruit Soup With Mint and Crosnes

1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
2 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
Pinch of salt
1/2 cups crosnes, cleaned and, if large, cut into bite-size pieces
2 cups seasonal fruit like pineapple, mango, or even avocado, diced
4 large mint leaves, chopped

Place the coconut milk, the milk, sugar, and salt in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove to a bowl and chill. (1) In a small pot, place crosnes in cold water and bring to a boil, then (2) drain. (3) Mix the fruit and the crosnes with the coconut-milk mixture. Divide among 4 bowls and garnish with mint.