Lemon roasted Jerusalem artichokes

Those funny looking knobbly creatures in your bag this week are called Jerusalem artichokes aka sunchokes. If you haven’t had them before don’t panic – they’re a bit of a pain to clean but these tubors have a lovely nutty flavour and can be prepared very simply – pan-fried til golden is a great starting place. Just scrub them really well then chop into chunks and pan-fry in olive oil til crispy on the outside but nice and tender inside.  A spritz of lemon and you’ve got something to pick on with beers before dinner or a lovely side dish that goes especially well with meat. Then there’s that great Nigel Slater warm salad with bacon and a mustard dressing.  They make brilliant soup but my own recipe for a warm salad with smoked cheese and lamb’s lettuce is one of our favourite ways to eat them and makes a very special lunch dish or starter.

Another way to go with Jerusalem artichokes I really enjoy is roasted with spuds and lemon. It’s very simple and comes courtesy of Mr. Slater though I have adapted it slightly. It goes really well with any roast and, I suspect, would work well with fish too.

Lemon roasted Jerusalem artichokes and potatoes (enough for 4-5)

You’ll need:

600gr Jerusalem artichokes

500gr potatoes

2 lemons

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

A large handful flatleaf (curly will also do if you’re stuck) parsley

Give the artichokes and spuds a really thorough scrub then cut them lengthways and chop into biggish chunks. Steam for about 10 minutes until tender. While the roots are steaming heat the oven to gas mark 6. Pour a decent glug of olive oil into a roasting tin and heat this in the oven. When the roots are ready, drain and tip into the roasting tin. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice of three halves over the veg then give them a good shake so the veg gets properly coated in the oil and lemon juice. Return the roasting tin to the oven and roast for about 40 minutes til golden and slightly crunchy. To serve, squeeze the remaining half lemon over the dish, sprinkle with some crushed Maldon, lots of freshly ground black pepper and the parsley (roughly chopped). Just so you know, Nigel’s recipe has more parsley and he adds Parmesan shavings to the finished dish. Up to you…

Enjoy!

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Now it’s time for those Jerusalem artichokes. Yes they are a complete pain in the you know what to clean but do spare a thought for the guys down on the Healy’s farm who harvested them for us. They were under a carpet of grass! Earthy, nutty with a big what the hell are these knobbly things factor, Jerusalem artichokes are made for bacon.

I fried them up with some lovely stuff from Tipperary  and made a gratin by adding a small glass of cream and a liberal sprinkle of Knockanore smoked cheese from Waterford. Under the grill til golden and that was it. With a salad you’d have lunch for 2 or 3 sorted but if it’s dinner you’re after, you’ll need more.

I bought  some pork chops, most unlike me but you can’t really eat only Irish for a week without going to the butcher or eating an insane amount of eggs and cheese. It was a bit of an adventure really – I never cook pork except for bacon (oh, and there is that chorizo addiction). I had a little sage left over from Monday and wanted to use that. I thought about a sage butter but at the last minute, fried up some apple slices in butter for a hit of sweetness and used the sage with that instead.

For greens I tossed Monday’s Pak choy (Thursday/Friday customers can use their baby spinach) in a little fresh garlic and served that on the side. Very nice. My boys couldn’t believe their luck – a real meat and 2 veg dinner – no couscous or beans!! My ratings are way up but the couscous will be back.

Pork chops with apple and sage with a Jerusalem artichoke gratin with bacon and Knockanore cheese(for 2)

You’ll need:

The meat

4 Pork chops

Rapeseed oil for frying

The Jerusalem artichoke gratin with bacon and Knockanore cheese

500gr Jerusalem Artichokes

100gr bacon

Rapeseed oil

50 ml cream

60  gr Knockanore smoked cheese or any other smoked cheese you like grated

The greens

Pak choy carefully washed and chopped or spinach

A bulb of fresh garlic

Rapeseed oil

The apples

2 apples

Butter

10-12 sage leaves if you have them

First off soak the Jerusalem artichokes in water for a few minutes to loosen the dirt then, scrub them well removing any stringy bits. Slice them quite finely then steam for about 5 minutes until tender. Remove any excess fat from the bacon then chop it up into smallish bits. Heat some oil on a pan and fry the bacon until it starts to change colour. Add the Jerusalem artichokes and fry with the bacon until golden. Turn down the heat, cover and cook for a few more minutes until really tender. Keep an eye on things to stop any burning.

While this is going on, peel the apples and cut each one into 8 segments. Heat a generous knob of butter in another pan, add the apples and pan fry until golden. When they’re nearly done, throw in the sage leaves. Fry for one more minute then turn off the heat.

Heat another pan with some rapeseed oil. Add the pork chops and cook on each side for 3 or 4 minutes. While the pork is cooking, you can finish off the gratin. Put the bacon and Jerusalem artichokes in a dish. Pour in the cream and top with the cheese. Grill until golden.

As the gratin is under the grill. Heat (yet another!!) pan or a wok. Add some rapeseed oil and then the garlic. Toss the garlic for a minute then throw in the white stalks and toss for a minutes then add the leaves. Allow the leaves to wilt then take off the pan. If you’re using spinach all you need to do is cook the garlic for a little longer then throw in the spinach which will cook is less than a minute.

To serve, top the chops with some apples and sage and grab a spoon and get stuck into the gratin and greens. Enjoy!

Jerusalem artichokes with bacon 

This week’s recipe is inspired by one in Nigel Slater’s recent book Tender. I love all of  Nigel’s books and this latest one  lies open on our kitchen table on a nearly permanent basis as I’m constantly flicking  through it. The photos, like his writing, are amazing. Having said  that, I rarely follow his recipes to the letter. The thing about Nigel is that he’s never shy with the pork or dairy. If butter is called for it’s at least 3 times what you’d put yourself and that’s before you add the cream… Tastes amazing but mama mia I’m not ready to give up my jeans (or have a heart attack) just yet.

With this recipe Nigel’s version had twice the bacon I’ve used and what I used was loads believe me. He suggests serving this dish with cold roast beef or chicken but I don’t tend to have that kind of thing lying around and it seemed like too much meat to me. Instead I boiled up some amazing  Charlotte spuds (soooo velvety), roughly chopped them, then added a dollop of creme fraiche and a scattering of those teeny capers.They were great together, perfect fare for a truly foul November eve……

A warm salad of Jerusalem Artichokes

You’ll need:

500gr Jerusalem Artichokes

100gr Streaky Bacon

3 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoon walnut oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons whole grain mustard

A pinch of crushed Maldon salt

A large handful flatleaf Parsley roughly chopped

Scrub the artichokes and steam for about 8 minutes under tender but firm (it’s very easy to overdo them so start checking after 6 minutes). In the meantime, roughly chop the bacon and put in a pan to fry with a drop of olive oil. You want it slightly crispy so turn up the heat at the end if you need to. While all this is going on, whisk the oils, lemon juice, salt  and mustard together to make the dressing and set aside. When the artichokes are ready let the them cool slightly then roughly chop  into bitesize pieces. When the bacon is done, take it off the pan but try and leave as much oil behind as possible as this is for frying the artichokes. Reheat the pan and drop in the artichoke pieces and fry until golden. This will take about 3 0r 4 minutes.

To put the salad together, toss the artichokes and bacon with the dressing then add the parsley. Serve with the spuds as I did or with some crusty bread.

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

 

We have Jerusalem Artichokes in all our bags this week. Never heard of them? Well, they are those funny knobbly things that look like a cross between Root Ginger and Sweet Potatoes in your bag this week. Rather confusingly Jerusalem Artichokes 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 although with the day that’s in it that doesn’t really hold too much appeal. Instead, I’d suggest a warm salad with this week’s Rocket and some smoked Cheese. Paul and I have just wolfed this for lunch and it rocks. Or, try soup – Jerusalem Artichokes make the silkiest kind and you can garnish it by pan-frying some of this week’s 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, Rocket, Pinenuts and smoked Cheese (for 2)

You’ll need:

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

60-70gr Rocket (about what you have in your bag this week)

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 Rocket. 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 Portabella 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

1 large Portobella Mushroom or 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.