Friday, January 21, 2011

Day 159

Sunchoke Puree: Today's post comes from one of my favorite new restaurants in ATL, the Sound Table. Me and the GF have eaten there several times, but when Scoutmob (another one of my favorite local businesses) issued a half off deal there a couple weeks ago, I knew I'd be going back soon. I've had many great items from their menu, but I noticed something tonight I'd never had: sunchoke puree. I'd read about this dish in Creative Loafing, and it was apparently one of food editor Besha Rodell's favorite menu items of last year. While a trustworthy recommendation is always good, I really had no idea what this was. I didn't even know what a sunchoke was, much less any pureed version of it. Obviously, I had to order it.
The menu described it as being served with roasted mushrooms, poached egg, and pecorino. Even if I had heard nothing about this dish, I would have been sold by the inclusion of the poached egg - I love anything featuring a runny egg as an ingredient. After we knocked out a few starters, our server brought the puree, and at first glance, it reminded me of a bowl of ultra-creamy soup. The roasted mushrooms were layered on top, and the poached egg was nestled in the corner, waiting to be broken. I broke the egg and mixed it into the puree, then took a bite of the whole mixture.

Wow. Amazing. The taste was kind of like a super creamy vegetable-based soup (think cream of asparagus, maybe?), but a million times richer and smoother. The flavor was overall sweet, with a hint of bitter at the end. The roasted mushrooms were tender and added a smoky note to the mix, and the runny poached egg thickened the puree a bit after mixing it in. I assume the pecorino was blended in to the puree, since I didn't see it shaved or sprinkled on top. Really good stuff.

I had to do some research when I got home about the sunchoke, and according to Wikipedia, it's a root vegetable that also referred to as the Jerusalem artichoke. I expected it to look like an artichoke, but it looks more like a piece of unpeeled, raw ginger. I'd love to know how to make this dish at home -  I could have easily eaten a gallon of it.

We also had some killer cocktails as well as a cheese plate, crispy ceci peas, Oaxacan hanger steak and lemon tart. If you haven't been to the Sound Table, do yourself a favor and go. Soon.


  1. I use to grow sunchokes.They look like blackeye susans.Root is very crunchy and good.I think I'll grow some more.Very easy to grow and they multiply rapidly.

  2. This puree was awesome. If I had a garden, I'd definitely be growing sunchokes!