In the Winter section of Susannah Blake’s lovely cookbook, Seasonal Food, there’s a section on the very under-rated Jerusalem artichoke. Unrelated to the globe artichoke the Jerusalem artichoke is a great alternative to potatoes. When cooked, they have a soft, creamy texture and, with their slightly sweet and nutty flavour, they make a particularly good accompaniment to meat and poultry, as well as being a great base to soups and vegetarian dishes.
To prepare them, scrub well, then trim off any dark or woody bits and peel thinly. If you want to stop them from discolouring, drop them straight into water in which a squeeze of lemon juice has been added. Jerusalem artichokes can be boiled like potatoes, then mashed or puréed. They are also good tossed in a creamy sauce and baked in a gratin, or roasted in olive oil until crisp and golden. When sliced wafer-thin and deep-fried, they make delicious crunchy crisps.
This recipe, from Susannah’s book, gives the Jerusalem artichokes a lovely earthy, spice, fiery taste.
* gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, soya-free, egg-free, nut-free, seed-free
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- a large pinch of dried chilli flakes
- 450g/1lb Jerusalem artichokes, cut into large pieces
- juice of ¼ lemon
- Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently for about 5 minutes, until soft. Stir in the ground cumin, ground coriander and chilli flakes and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Toss in the Jerusalem artichokes, season to taste with salt and pour over 60ml/2fl oz/¼ cup water. Stir to combine well, bring to a gentle simmer, cover the pan and cook over a low heat for about 20 minutes until the artichokes are tender.
- Check the seasoning and add more salt if necessary, then squeeze over the lemon juice and serve.