One of my favourite things, Jerusalem Artichokes, and what to do with them. Not that they look very appetising, members of the Sunflower family, they are delicious, and have an unusual earthy taste, that bring welcome variety to the Winter table. Ridiculously easy to grow, they can be planted in all soil types and are great to fill an unused corner of the garden. I grow mine prominently near the perennial herbs in a raised bed which they love, multiplying happily in the clay. They are sometimes called Sun chokes, and the stems can reach a height of 6 foot or more, sporting a sunflower in the late Summer. Great to shelter off an untidy feature or oil tank. Dig in the Winter to reveal these knobbly tubers, leaving a couple to grow again the following year. They are rotation free and can gladly stay in the same spot for many years. One of my first cookery books was Jane Grigson’s vegetable book, and remains to this day a old favourite that takes you on a culinary journey of vegetables from A to Z, and it’s here I first read about Jerusalem Artichokes and their reputation for causing ”wind” hence the name they are sometimes given, Fartichokes…but please don’t let that put you off, you will be missing out on a delightful, versatile, wholesome vegetable. So Jane has a wonderful recipe called Palestine Soup, that I return to every Winter, comfort food at it’s very best.
1/2 kg. Jerusalem Artichokes
1 lge. onion.
I clove garlic
125 g. butter
1 litre chicken stock or water
1/4 litre milk
6 tablespoons cream, chopped parsley, chives
Scrub and peel the artichokes with a potato peeler, and cut into dice.
Put with the chopped onion, garlic and celery into a large pan with half the butter. Cover tightly and simmer over a low heat for 10 mins. Now add the bacon, cook for a few more minutes then add the stock and cook until veg are soft. Blend if you want it smooth, then add more water/milk to taste. Correct the seasoning and finally add the remaining butter, cream and herbs. Serve with croutons fried in butter. A taste you will never forget…..
From Jane Grigson’s VEGETABLE BOOK
I also cook them in with roast potatoes or veg, they go kinda sticky and melt in your mouth, ooohhhh.
Another great way to use them is to make them into crisps, simply slice on a mandolin into crisp sizes and toss in olive oil and sea salt, then bake in a hot oven for 20 mins.