THE FLEETING SUNCHOKE SEASON

I wish I hadn’t waited 25 years to eat my first Jerusalem artichoke (not actually an artichoke, it’s also called a ‘sunchoke’). I’ve never tasted anything quite like it. They don’t look like much at the market — we picked up a small basket of the dented, bruised things on deep discount at Jean-Talon — and are a pain to peel, due to their tessellating knobs and bumps. But gently steamed and then mashed into a garlicky, velvety puree, they are one of the most delicious tubers around, with a delicate mouthfeel and an unusually sweet, nutty flavor.

The sunchoke mash was served with seared scallops in brown butter and a flutter of julienned parsley to finish. With it, a salad of thinly sliced carrots, slices of Empire apple, halved almonds and red leaf lettuce. And to finish, my favorite way to eat kale: Flash-fried in a pan with crispy bacon, lemon juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes, finished with plenty of salt and freshly ground pepper.

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