What a wondrous time; spring onions are tender, asparagus is rising to the sun, and the sunchokes that have spent all winter becoming fat and sweet are ready to be dug up – do it before they sprout! Roast them all together for this lip-smacking side dish or vegetarian main. Maple syrup brings out the sweetness, and birch syrup adds a burnt sugar bitterness for balance. If you can’t find sunchokes (AKA Jerusalem artichokes), use tiny baby potatoes. Also, this recipe is flexible; move folks to feed, just up the amounts accordingly; there’s really nothing that can go wrong. This recipe serves 4 as a side or 2 as a vegetarian main.
2 bunches whole spring onions, washed roots trimmed
1 bunch asparagus spears, washed, tough stem bottoms trimmed
About 6 sunchokes, washed – no need to peel – cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tbsp maple syrup
3/4cup melted butter
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/3 cup soft goat cheese, crumbled, or more to taste
1/3 cup walnuts, pieces or halves
2 tbsp birch syrup
Freshly grated nutmeg to garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Into a large bowl toss the spring onions, asparagus, sunchokes, maple syrup, melted butter, salt and pepper until evenly coated. Transfer into a roasting pan.
- Roast for about 25 minutes or until the tip of a knife can be easily inserted into the sunchokes. Give the pan a turn and a shake mid-way through for even roasting.
- Remove from oven, turn oven to broil.
- Add the goat cheese and walnuts and return to oven for 5 – 10 minutes or until cheese has visibly softened. Bring roasting pan to the table or transfer to serving dish and drizzle with birch syrup and a pinch of nutmeg, if desired.
Text, Recipes, Photographs & Food Styling by Signe Langford
From Hudson, Quebec, now living in Port Hope, Ontario, Signe is a restaurant chef-turned-writer who tells award-winning stories and creates delicious recipes for such publications as: LCBO’s Food & Drink, Manna Pro Hearty Homestead, The Harvest Commission, and Today’s Parent; she published her first book – Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs; Keeping Chickens in the Kitchen Garden with 100 Recipes – in 2015. She studied Fine Art History and Humanities at the University of Toronto, and York University; she graduated with honours from OCAD University; she earned her Wine Specialist Certificate from George Brown College.