Jerusalem artichokes (also called sunchokes) are a delicious, nutty tuber, much like a potato – but healthier and tastier.
Have you ever eaten Jerusalem artichokes (also called sunchokes)? If you haven’t, this is a must-try veggie! And if you have tried them and didn’t care of them, I’ve got good news for you!
Jerusalem artichokes are neither from Jerusalem nor are they artichokes. They are actually a tuber, like a potato, and can be eaten much the same way. But Jerusalem artichokes have a more delicious, nutty flavor – and they won’t spike your blood sugar like potatoes do. Most full service grocery stores and carry Jerusalem artichokes. Look for them in the exotic food section – even though they are hardly exotic. They grow extremely easily in North America – so much so many people consider them a weed.
Ideally, Jerusalem artichokes should be eaten after a good, hard frost or two. This makes them more tasty – and also helps reduce a problem some individuals have with them: It makes the vegetable less likely to cause gas.
When I ask people who’ve eaten Jerusalem artichokes how they feel about the veggie, everyone says they like it. Some say they love it. And a handful say they will never eat it again because it gave them gas. But gas doesn’t have to be a side effect from this vegetable! And Jerusalem artichokes are so delicious, you’ll be glad you took a tiny bit of trouble to make them gas-less.
RULE 1: Buy the freshest Jerusalem artichokes you can find, and only buy them in winter. The skins of the vegetable should be wrinkle free and light brown.
RULE 2: Either slowly roast Jerusalem artichokes at 200 degrees F. for 12 hours or so, then proceed with your recipe, or
RULE 3: Parboil them. (Put them in a pot and cover with cold water. Simmer, drain, and throw out the cooking water. Then proceed with whatever additional cooking method the recipe calls for.)
Finally, I find that adding potatoes to the dish helps. And with that in mind, here are two of my favorite Jerusalem artichoke recipes.
Jerusalem Artichoke Mashed Potatoes Recipe
2 lbs. Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed and cut into ½ in. pieces
2 lbs. potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1 in. pieces*
3 tablespoons butter
1. Place the Jerusalem artichokes in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring just to a boil, then drain.
2. Place the Jerusalem artichokes back in the pot and add the potatoes. Cover with cold water and boil until vegetables are tender. Drain.
3. Mash the vegetables with a potato masher. Add the butter and stir until it’s completely melted. Add milk, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is creamy.
* You can also peel the potatoes, if you like. In my family, we like our mashed potatoes with the potato skins intact.
Jerusalem Artichoke Soup Recipe
1 lb Jerusalem artichokes, roasted or parboiled, peeled,* and cut into ½ in. pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks, sliced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1 in. pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 ¼ cups chicken stock
1/3 cup spinach leaves
1. Place a large pot over medium high heat and add the oil. Once warm, add the leeks, onion, and garlic. Sauté until tender.
2. Stir in the Jerusalem artichokes and potatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
3. Add the stock. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat until the soup is boiling gently. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove pot from the stove and allow to cool a little.
4. Carefully use an immersion blender to puree the soup. (Or, carefully transfer the soup in batches to a traditional blender. Puree and return to the pot.)
5. Stir in the cream and return to the stove. When the soup is warm again, season with salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the spinach.
* You won’t be able to remove all of the skin, because of the creases in the vegetable.
Gourmet recipes at your finger tips...