Jerusalem Artichoke

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I wrote about these kind of munty looking little tubers in last month’s issue of Taste magazine and have developed a little thing for them this winter. They stake an unusual textural claim, kind of somewhere between potato and macadamia nut, if you ask me. Still hard to find them in most regular produce stores, but gourmet places and farmer’s markets will have them in season. I bought this lot from a little produce store across the carpark from Pak n Chav in Royal Oak. Who would’ve thought, they had these and kohlrabi in store, I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t in fact in Ponsonby.

I boil them until just tender, then slip the skins off after they’ve cooled down a bit. Then you can either roast them (you could just roast them with their skins on and skip the boiling stage, too, if you like) or sautee them for a firmer bite. Last night I made a one-dish meal with French lentils, baby spinach and red onion with sauteed Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, spicy lamb sausages and green beans. The Jerusalem artichokes I sauteed with a bit of pomegranate molasses to give them a glaze and a tang to counter their sweetness. I buy these spicy lamb sausages from a halal butcher in Sandringham; they’re rich with aromatic spices, slightly Indian-ish but not curry-like – there’s something licoricy in there and they went well with the sweet tubers.

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2 thoughts on “Jerusalem Artichoke

  1. Dead easy to grow as well. A member of the sunflower family, so the plant grows tall and pretty. Then at the end of Autumn you can did them up. Soup is the classic way to serve them, boiled and pureed with cream, butter and plenty of seasoning. Yum.

    1. Yes, I haven’t frown them myself but hear they are notorious for taking over gardens in a hurry! I’ve tried soup with them and while I can see the attraction, I prefer them unpureed because they offer a such a lovely texture. What seasonings do you reckon are good in a soup, Mike?
      The name was probably a corruption of ‘Girasolo’ (Italian for sunflower) and the fact that early explorers to its native America thought it tasted a bit like artichoke.

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