Hi all, I harvested my Jerusalem artichokes on Sunday just gone and from three corms about the size of your thumb this is what I harvested.
Apart from planting them into some compost enriched soil, back in August, I didn't do a thing to them.
Definitely one for the easy to grow part of the veggie garden.
I then went off to work Sunday night and because it can be a slow night at times I buy the Queensland Sunday paper The Sunday Mail to help me through the night.
Well you could've knocked me down with a feather because in the event section of the paper under the Dining In sub-section was a whole page devoted to the Jerusalem artichoke plus a recipe for Jerusalem artichoke soup with chestnuts (see below).
This article is written by Matt Moran who is co-owner/chef of ARIA Restaurant. Sydney.
Titled, What lies beneath, Matt goes on to say
SOME names have no mystery.
What you hear is what you get. Others are a little misleading.
The Jerusalem artichoke, for example, has nothing to do with
Jerusalem, nor is it an artichoke. It is thought the name came about as a corruption of the Italian word girasole, meaning sunflower, to which pendulum artichokes are related.
What it is, though, is an under- appreciated knobbly little tuber (stay with me, it gets better) with sweet earthy, nutty flesh, and a great vegetable to add to your repertoire in the cooler months.
You'll find and them trickling into greengrocers about now, and they'll hit full throttle between May and October, plenty of time to become well acquainted.
Jerusalem artichokes look a little like ginger, with their knobbly shape and light brown skin and have crisp white flesh similar in texture to a water chestnut.
You need to look out for tubers which are firm and store them as you would a potato, in a cool, dark, dry place, for up to a week.
My tip is to buy more than you need, as quite a bit can be lost in the peeling. Newer varieties are less knobbly, which makes peeling them a much simpler task than in the past.
Cut away the largest bumps before you start to make the job easier, and have a bowl of acidulated water to hand (squeeze a lemon into cold water), as the flesh colours very quickly once exposed to air.
They're a unique vegetable in that although they're a carbohydrate, they contain no starch.
However. the type of carbohydrate they do contain can't be broken down by any human enzymes, and the undigested carbohydrates pass into the gut intact.
Delicately put they're renowned for creating a lot of gas!(aka Fartichokes) This, though, is no reason not to try them. Just make sure you are - ahem - comfortable with the company you keep the day after eating. (Honestly, this effect isn't universal, but makes this vegetable the subject of much hilarity).
Jerusalem artichokes can be cooked like potato, but their flesh becomes much softer. They can be boiled, but steaming is better as it prevents them becoming water-logged.
From there it's a cinch to turn them into a gorgeous, silky puree, perfect to serve with pan-seared scallops or roast barramundi.
soup with chestnuts
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 brown onion, diced
Salt and pepper
1 liter chicken stock
100g flat pancetta
Olive oil, for frying
Pre-heat a deep-fryer to 160C and
pre-heat the oven to 160C.
To prepare the artichoke crisps,
thinly slice 2 of the artichokes
using a mandolin. Carefully place
the artichoke slices into the
vegetable oil heated in the deep
fryer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes
until golden brown. Remove from
oil and place on paper towel to
drain. Season with salt, then leave
To prepare the chestnuts, make a cross in each of
the chestnuts using a sharp knife.
Place in the oven on a tray for 15
minutes. Remove from the oven,
then peel away their shell while
the chestnuts are still hot.
To prepare the soup, melt the
butter in a saucepan. Add the
onion and cook for 5 to 6 minutes
until soft and translucent being
careful not to allow them to gain
any colour as this will change the
Chop the remaining artichokes
and add to the onion.
Season with a little salt
and pepper, then cook for a
further 5 minutes. Add the peeled,
baked chestnuts, reserving a few
to be used as a garnish. Add the
chicken stock and bring to the
boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer
and cook for 20 minutes. Pour the
soup into a blender and puree for
2 minutes until the soup has a
silky, smooth texture. Pour the
soup back into the saucepan and
bring back to to boil. Check for
Cut the pancetta into small
lardons Heat a little olive oil in a
fry pan and when hot, add in the
pancetta. Cook until crispy.
To serve, ladle the soup into 6
bowls. Garnish with the artichoke
crisps, crispy pancetta and
parsley. Break the remaining
chestnuts into pieces and
crumble over soup. Serves 6.