I’m enjoying the Jerusalem artichokes we grew this year! For those of you who missed the original article I wrote on them, you can read it here.
They really don’t taste like anything else. They’re kind of like a potato, but taste nuttier. Quite delicious.
Our family has not experienced any of the unfortunate side effects sometimes associated with these tubers (think gasseous), but I did take precautions. The advice was not to harvest them until the stalks had gone through a couple of hard frosts, which is what we did. Whether or not that made the difference, or if we’re just not susceptible, I can’t say, but we didn’t have any problems, so I can wholeheartedly recommend trying them.
I’ve done some simple roasting, with olive oil and salt, and those were very good. I like this method particularly with the smaller tubers, because you don’t need to peel them. Just clean them well and pop them in the oven.
Speaking of cleaning them, that’s probably the most difficult part of preparation. Bill Clarkson, a reader in Blacksburg, passed on the tip of using a hose with an adjustable spray head. The flat spray takes the dirt off best. That worked well for me, and I didn’t find them too difficult to clean.
When you peel them, don’t be too concerned about bits of peel being left, particularly on the knobby parts of the tuber. The skin is very thin and won’t affect what you’re cooking.
Here’s a simple soup I made that we enjoyed. Again, I have to say that the taste is really unlike anything else I’ve made. Very unique.
Melt 2 Tbsp unsalted butter in a soup pot and cook 1 cup chopped onion and 2 chopped celery stalks until soft (about 5 mintues). Add 2 chopped garlic cloves and saute for another minute. Sprinkle with salt.
Add 2 pounds of Jerusalem artichokes that have been peeled and cut into chunks, and 1 quart of chicken or vegetable stock to the pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until the artichokes begin to break down (45 min-1 hour).
Puree the soup using an immersion or upright blender. Add salt to taste. Grate black pepper on the top of each bowl before serving. 6 servings.