Pan-Seared Turbot, Sunchoke Puree, and Sugar Snap Peas in a Sunchoke Broth

Sunchokes are, without a doubt, heinous little beasts. You've probably overlooked them at the market as they are usually ostracized to the deepest, darkest corners of the produce section. They rank up there with celery root in the ugliest vegetable category. Come to think of it, because of their nubby, reddish-brown appearance, I would describe them as ginger root's neglected red-headed stepchild.

After checking out some sunchokes at the market, I decided that I was willing to look past their unsightly appearance. It's what's inside that counts, right? In addition to the sunchokes, I also picked up some flawless Turbot filets and vividly green sugar snap peas. I could sense the sunchokes' jealousy as I oohed and awed over the beauty of my other ingredients. Poor sunchokes. I was determined to make the sunchokes look equally as delicious though - makeover!

I loosely used this recipe from Per Se Restaurant for guidance as I decided to make a puree out of my new nubby little friends. I peeled and then boiled them in chicken stock. Once they were tender, I reserved some of the cooking liquid for later use. I added a bit of butter and milk to the tender sunchokes, and then I pureed the mixture. On a plate, I placed my pan-seared Turbot over the puree and added the sugar snap peas, which I sauteed with lots and lots of garlic. I then poured some of the sunchoke broth around the fish and the puree. My finished dish was absolutely splendid, and the sunchoke puree actually took center stage. It tasted like a nuttier and creamier version of potato puree. With a little finesse and flair, I managed to transform the unattractive sunchoke as if it was my own little Eliza Dolittle project. My fair (or way more than fair) sunchoke. Would you try sunchokes? Are there any unattractive foods that you are intimidated by?

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