My mother used to grow Jerusalem artichokes in Bloemfontein, in the middle of South Africa. I remember their tall yellow sunflowers against a warm brick wall. I hated the tubers: poor substitutes for potatoes, I thought, as a child. Frauds. But now...in New York and all grown up.
I love raw sunchokes. Very crisp, slightly sweet, very nutty. And thanks to jvdh for reminding me about them.
If I had a big sunny garden, I would add them to a flower border, and eat them when the flowers were done.
With fennel and watercress. Vinaigrette of 1 part sherry vinegar, 1 part cream, salt and sugar and pepper, 3 parts walnut oil. Dissolve salt and sugar in vinegar then add cream and oil. They can't dissolve in oil.