The Jerusalem artichoke (or sunchoke) is a tuber of the sunflower family. Originally from North America, where it was highly prized by the native peoples, it was introduced to France in the 16th century by Samuel de Champlain where it quickly became very popular. Its name comes from the fact that its flavor is reminiscent of artichoke. The season for Jerusalem artichokes ranges from fall until early spring. Choose firm attractive tubers. They should never be muddy or dirty.
Clarify the butter by melting it over very low heat - it must not boil - until it is translucent and the white residue settles to the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat, and using a small ladle or spoon, remove the clear butter from the top.
Peel the Jerusalem artichokes. Grate them into thin julienne strips, toss them with clarified butter, and then in the potato starch. Season with salt and pepper.
Cut the figs into 5 or 6 slices. Take 4 non-stick skillets, each 5" in diameter. Cover the bottom with half of the Jerusalem artichokes. Add a layer of figs, then cover with the remaining Jerusalem artichokes.
Place the skillets over low heat and cook for 10 minutes until browned, then turn with a spatula and cook the other side for 10 minutes longer. Drain on paper towels and serve with a sprinkling of fleur de sel.