My 3 favourite Jerusalem artichoke recipes

February 5, 2010

If you’ve never heard of them, jerusalem artichokes are those funny knobbly things that look like a cross between root ginger and sweet potatoes in the bottom of your bag this week that you’ve probably been wondering about. Rather confusingly, they have nothing to do with either Jerusalem or artichokes. These tubers are a variety of sunflower. Tastewise, they’re quite similar to globe artichokes but are much sweeter with a nutty, smokey flavour which goes beautifully with cream, garlic, bacon, mushrooms, hazelnuts, lemon, parsley and Parmesan. Like all root veg, jerusalem artichokes can be roasted, fried, boiled and mashed. They make fantastic soups and gratins and can even be eaten raw. Given recent temperatures, raw might be a step too far so I’m going to suggest a warm salad with this week’s lamb’s lettuce and some smoked cheese. Paul and I have just wolfed this for lunch and it rocks. Or, try making soup – jerusalem artichokes make the silkiest kind and you can garnish it by pan-frying some of this week’s chestnut mushrooms which are just perfect for bringing up the nutty, earthy flavour of the soup….

When preparing your artichokes, it isn’t necessary, as many recipes insist, to peel them but they do need a good scrub. If they’re very mucky, a soak in some water before you scrub will make things easier. If you do peel them, be sure and put them in acidulated water (ie water with some Lemon Juice) to stop them going brown. The first recipe this week is a very simple one and it works really well with any kind of roast and it’s also the basis of the salad recipe I just mentioned….

Pan-fried Jerusalem Artichokes with White Wine Vinegar

You’ll need:
600gr jerusalem artichokes (about what you have in this week’s bag)

Olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic

White Wine Vinegar

Scrub your artichokes well but don’t bother to peel them. Slice each one into rounds about 1/2 cm thick dropping them into a bowl of water with lemon juice as you go. When they’re all ready drain them and dry with some kichen paper or a tea towel. Heat some olive oil on the pan and add the artichokes. Pan-fry over a slow to medium heat until golden. This should take about 10 minutes and at this stage the artichokes will have started to soften. To finish cooking them turn down the heat and cover them for about 10 minutes tossing every few minutes to ensure they don’t blacken. While the artichokes are cooking, finely chop your garlic. When the artichokes are soft to the point of nearly starting to fall apart turn up the heat a little, add a little more olive oil and throw in the Garlic and toss with the artichokes until soft. To finish off the dish add a dash of white wine vinegar, toss everything together then turn down the heat, cover and leave to cook for a minute then turn off the heat, season with salt and pepper and serve.

A warm salad with Pan-fried Artichokes, Lamb’s Lettuce, Pinenuts and smoked Cheese (for 2)

You’ll need:

A portion of pan-fried Artichokes prepared as described above.

70-80gr Lamb’s Lettuce (about what you have in your bag this week) or Rocket is also great in this salad

100gr smoked Cheese – Apart from the Basque raw sheeps cheese Idiazabal I’m not normally wild about smoked Cheeses but it’s amazing in this salad. I used Oakwood which is pretty readily available (Idiazabal, unfortuneately, isn’t – even in the rest of Spain it’s hard to track down).

A handful Pinenuts
Olive Oil
Vinegar or Lemon Juice – I used that Irish Cider Balsamic stuff which is really nice but traditional Red wine or Lemon Juice also works well. I wouldn’t go for regular Balsamic for a salad like this as I think it overpowers the earthy flavours but it’s really up to you.

While the Artichokes are cooking wash and dry the Lamb’s Lettuce. Chop the cheese into little chunks (about the size of hazelnuts) or strips about 2 cm long . Toast the Pinenuts on a dry pan until golden then roughly chop and mix through the Rocket. Add in the Cheese and when the Artichokes are ready dress everything with Olive Oil and Vinegar then top with the Artichokes and serve.

And finally…………………

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup topped with saute chestnut mushrooms (for 2 hungry people or 4 as a small starter)

You’ll need:

A generous knob Butter

1 Onion

1 Stick of Celery

2 Cloves Garlic

600gr Jerusalem Artichokes (about what you have in this week’s bag)

800ml Stock (Chicken or veg)

60ml Double Cream

4-5 small Chestnut ones to garnish

Roughly chop your onion and begin to sweat in the butter while you finely chop the celery. Throw in the chopped celery and after about 5 minutes add the 2 cloves garlic roughly chopped. Continue to saute over a lowish heat until everything has softened but not changed colour (this should take about 10 minutes) while you get on with preparing the jerusalem artichokes. Peel and slice the jerusalem artichokes, dropping them into water with a squirt of lemon as you go. When the onion, celery and garlic have fully softened throw in the artichokes along with the stock. Season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil then simmer for about 25 minutes until the jerusalem artichokes are completely tender. While the soup is cooking wipe and thinly slice your mushroom(s), heat some olive oil on a pan and fry until golden brown and almost crispy then set aside. When the soup is cooked, turn off the heat and blend until completely smooth. Add in the cream, check the seasoning adding a little more salt if necessary and serve topped with the mushrooms

4 Responses to “My 3 favourite Jerusalem artichoke recipes”

  1. Paul Says:

    Beware of the wind!
    Apparently if you wean yourself onto them you get more accustomed to them and its not such a hazard.

  2. donal Says:

    Now he tells me…

  3. Jan Says:

    That salad was amazing!!! we ate it last night and everyone wanted seconds. Great recipes

  4. […] consulted the HO blog and found this recipe.  I also consulted my new BFF Book, The Flavour Thesaurus, which has a chapter on Globe […]

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