Some nights you just don’t have the energy to cook something long and involved. While you can’t always get away with shortening the cooking time, it is possible to come up with both main dishes and side dishes that require a minimum of actual prep work, leaving your time free for such important activities as playing with the kids (or in our case, the cats), doing laundry, reading a book, or watching TV. This is one of those handy little side dishes that can go from counter to oven in under 10 minutes and oven to plate in less than 40 minutes.
We’ve spent a fair amount of time covering Jerusalem Artichokes recently because they are one of the most prevalent finds at the Seattle Farmers Markets.
The process is very simple. Just take a few of of your favorite tubers (parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, potatoes, sunchokes, and even carrots will work here). Slice them thinly (none of them need to be peeled, just scrubbed, though turnip and rutabaga skins can sometimes be a bit bitter). In a large bowl, toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and any other of your favorite seasonings. Some of our favorites include Hickory Smoked Sea Salt from Zane and Zack ‘s, Secret Stash Salt, or smoked paprika. Spread the chips out in a single layer on a cookie sheet.
Bake in a preheated 400 oven for between 30 and 40 minutes, depending on the thickness of your slices. If you’re not sure how long to bake them for, check them after 15 minutes. Since you’re baking them and not frying them, they won’t be overly crispy, but the edges should be just starting to brown. Cool for a few minutes and enjoy.
Notes: You can vary these chips in so many ways. We loved the rutabagas, as they were sweet and mild. The Jerusalem artichokes were tasty, but they do have a more earthy flavor. Serve alongside your favorite protein source or with some braised greens for a crispy side dish. When cutting the “chips”, you can use a mandoline or just a sharp knife. The cooking time will vary greatly based on the thickness of your slices. If you’re using a knife, you’re probably looking at 30-40 minutes. If you’re using a mandoline, check them after 15 minutes.
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