The more I researched about Jerusalem Artichokes, the more I realised I ought to share some very important tips! In most culinary circles, I have discovered that Jerusalem Artichokes, with their smooth, interesting flavour, are also known as …… close your eyes if you are of a delicate disposition …… ‘fartichokes’.
They have the ability to give us wind, which can be embarrassing in company!! And for the unfortunate few, this can create a lot of stomach discomfort. But there are a lot of tips to help prevent this, and here are the ones I have come across.
- Parboil the Jerusalem Artichokes, then discard the water and finish off cooking either in a pan of fresh water or by roasting.
- Roasting in the oven is a good way of cooking the Artichokes, and the addition of a few Bay Leaves not only adds flavour, but helps with the ‘Wind’ problem.
- Cooking with the addition of fresh Fennel or Ginger is supposed to help.
- Add Dill or Caraway Seeds to the Artichokes when cooking.
- Add Turmeric to the Artichokes when cooking.
- Use Jerusalem Artichokes like crisps – slice thinly and fry in oil.
So, I’m going to dig up my last tubers of this amazing vegetable today, and over the next few days I will be parboiling and using loads of fresh water to prepare my Jerusalem Artichokes for some soup recipes, and hopefully there will be enough to freeze. This next recipe is one I am really looking forward to, and with the addition of Parsnips Crisps it can be a perfect lunch for Erik and myself, or, once I know that I have perfected the way of preventing ‘wind’, one I would happily serve to friends (only very good friends first, if you know what I mean!) So here we go.
Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Parsnip Crisps
- 1 tbsp mild olive oil
- Knob of butter
- 2 onions, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 medium (about 150g) floury potato, peeled and cut into even chunks
- 6 medium Jerusalem artichokes
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 250ml milk, hot
- Salt & pepper
- 2 tbsp thick double cream, to garnish
- Extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle
- 2 medium parsnips, top & tailed, peel off the outer layer, then keep peeling in thin strips until you hit the woody core.
- A pan of vegetable oil
- Salt & pepper mix (to toss the fried crisps in)
- Scrub then peel the artichokes. Place in pan of water, bring to the boil and boil for 3 - 4 minutes. Drain well and leave on one side.
- Gently heat the oil and butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Season with salt. Cover and sweat over a low heat for 10 minutes until softened.
- Chop the parboiled artichokes and add these plus the chopped potato to the onions etc in the pan then add a few tablespoons of the vegetable stock and sweat over a low heat for 5 minutes.
- When the artichokes and potato have softened, cover with the rest of the stock and simmer for 3 - 4 mins whilst the stock heats up.
- When the artichokes are tender, puree in a food processor or liquidizer. Add the milk and season.
- Heat a deep pan with vegetable oil to 160C. To check, drop a cube of bread into the oil. If it goes golden brown within a minute, it's ready. Fry the parsnips for 1 - 2 mins until golden and crisp. Immediately toss the crisps in salt and pepper, then cool and drain on kitchen paper.
- Reheat the soup gently, then divide between cups and garnish each with the cream, a drop or two of olive oil and a grinding of black pepper. Serve with the parsnip crisps.
- Cool the soup at the end of stage 5. Ladle into freezer tubs, and when cold, label and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost and reheat until piping hot.
I’ve literally just had a break from the computer and, wellies and gardening gloves for protection, I sauntered up the garden to our Kitchen Garden. Suddenly I felt the pitter pat of raindrops on my waterproof jacket, which, by the time I reached my Jerusalem Artichoke bed had accelerated to a furious drumming! Thank heavens for my short but curly hair now – the rain makes no difference to it at all!
The next recipe I am really keen to try is one by Jamie Oliver. Jamie has his own Kitchen Garden, so apart from his brilliant culinary skills, he is also an expert on vegetables and has lots of advice on what to do with this particularly strange species. His dish looks just fantastic and inspired me, so, in the pouring rain, I proceeded to dig up almost the last of my Jerusalem Artichokes. Gold and very muddy large nuggets, rounded and perfect (no attacks on them by flies or slugs) emerged from my rich, sandy soil, and I was absolutely amazed and overjoyed to fill my large, plastic water bucket with these strange vegetables.
By now, extremely wet and muddy, I trudged down the garden back to the house, smiling each time I looked in my mucky bucket. I think I may cook Jamie’s recipe for our evening meal tonight, to go with an Italian dish I fancy, Pork Tenderloin with Juniper Berries. Enough of my rambling, and on with the recipe.
Sauteed Jerusalem Artichokes with Garlic & Bay Leaves
- 600g / 1 lb 6 oz Jerusalem artichokes
- Olive Oil
- A large handful of Bay leaves, wiped clean on both sides of the leaf
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 good splash of white wine vinegar
- Peel the artichokes, and cut into good bite-sized chunks.
- I decided to par-boil my artichokes for 5 - 6 minutes, just to be on the safe side.
- Place them in an oiled frying pan and fry on a medium heat until golden on both sides, then add a few bay leaves, 2 cloves of finely sliced garlic, a splash of white wine vinegar, some salt and freshly ground black pepper and place a lid on the top.
- After about 20 - 25 minutes they will have softened up nicely, so remove the lid and the bay leaves.
- Continue cooking for another couple of minutes to crisp up the artichoke pieces one last time so that they are golden, and then serve straight away.
Well, it appears to have stopped raining now. Because I’ve made myself so hungry thinking and writing about Jamie’s recipe, I’m now going to have to put my wellies back on to go up our muddy path as I need to pick a large handful of Bay Leaves from my ever-growing statuesque Bay Tree. Should have thought about that earlier. But I am seriously looking forward to both cooking and eating our meal tonight. Fingers crossed that some of those tips about Jerusalem Artichokes will work …… but… wait a minute …… should I parboil them before I roast them in a frying pan? Where’s Jamie when you need him?
But I promise I will report back, whether the news be good or bad!