Originally posted 14 May 2013, reposted 21 April 2014
This photo is of our Jerusalem Artichokes last year in the field, which turned out to be a very nice hedge at the side of our salad mix patch. If you've never used them before, you're in for a treat and something really truly different. They are, as they look, in the sunflower family, and they have a fantastic crunch and a nutty sunflower flavour. You can, but need not peel them, just scrub them to get the dirt off (which should come as a relief as most of them are pretty gnarly!).
In my previous job in Calgary, I often recommended Sunchokes as an alternative to potatoes for those watching their blood sugar levels or on restrictive diets or clenses. Sunchokes contain the carbohydrate inulin instead of starch, which is a type of dietary fibre known as fructan that the human body has a limited ability to process. Unlike potatoes-- which are considered high on the glycemic index-- the inulin in sunchokes does not cause an insulin response in the body or raise triglycerides (Of course, please do your own research to see if it is right for you if you are on a restricted diet).
Regardless of all this, they are delicious little nuggets and I hope you find a way to enjoy them! The first time I had them I over-roasted them, which was a big mistake: They get bitter and have a soggy textured when overcooked. Once I was ready to attempt cooking them again I used a recipe and had much better luck. I have heard that they can be hard to digest for some, who recommend fully cooking them (like in the soup recipe below). I am including a recipe that is basically how I most often prepare them, as well as links to a few others that I think look interesting:
RECIPE: Sauteed Sunchokes
1 lb sunchokes/jerusalem artichoke
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 Scrub or peel artichokes.
2 Slice each artichoke to 1/4 inch thick slices.
3 In a Wok or frying pan, heat olive oil and butter on medium-high heat.
4 Add sliced artichokes, garlic, salt, pepper and parsley; stir well to coat artichokes.
5 Stir-fry for about 4 minutes, stirring often.
6 Do not overcook artichokes, they should be slightly crunchy.
7 Serve immediately.
Check out a couple of other recipes that might inspire you:
Cream of Sunchoke Soup(We tried this one last fall with much success; I highly recommend it!)
Sunny Sunchoke Salad
We visited our friends Alyson and Will at Windy Hill Farm in New Brunswick on the weekend... They have a 20-week CSA and so I looked through some of her newsletters for some recipes to share with you this week, here's a couple for celeriac, coming in this week's veggie share:
Celeriac and Apple Soup
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled celeriac
3 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled cored apples (from about 2 medium)
1 1/2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
4 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped chives
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
Pinch of salt
3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon) or bacon
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add celeriac, apples, and onion. Cook until apples and some of celeriac are translucent (do not brown), stirring often, about 15 minutes. Add 4 cups broth. Cover and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer covered until celeriac and apples are soft, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth, adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency. Return soup to pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated.
Puree chives, grapeseed oil, and pinch of salt in blender until smooth.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange pancetta or bacon slices in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until browned and crispy, about 18 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Crumble pancetta. DO AHEAD: Chive oil and pancetta can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
Rewarm soup over medium heat. Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle pancetta or bacon crumbles over each serving. Drizzle each bowl with chive oil.
Celeriac and Potato Mash
2 lbs celeriac, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces (about 4 ½ cups)
2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾ inch pieces (about 4 ½ cups)
4 tablespoons butter at room temperature
¼ cream or milk
Paprika for garnish (optional)
Place celeriac, potatoes and pinch of salt in a pot and barely cover with water. Bring to a boil and then simmer till vegetables are fork-tender (15-20 minutes). Drain, reserving one cup of the water. Return vegetables to pot and leave on medium heat for 1-2 minutes to dry them a bit. Remove pot from heat and add butter. Mash with potato masher, adding cream (milk) and as much of the reserved cooking water as you need to obtain a creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with paprika to garnish.
From: “The Earthbound Cook”
We've been eating like kings lately... Partly because I've been trying to use up all the "different" meats in the freezer... So that I don't have three ducks taking up all my freezer space!
Here's a photo journey through my yummy meals:
TapRoot Duck with mashed root veggies and baked potato
I thought this was a bit lazy of me, but Jon LOVED it. Like seriously, said he would eat it every day: the veggies were turnip, carrot, and celeriac, cut up, boiled (Yes, BOILED) in a pot with some herbs and butter, drained and then all mashed together (with more butter). It was a "rustic" chunky consistency, not my most precise kitchen work, but it WAS good, so I guess that's all that matters. AND hella easy!
It was my fourth time in life cooking duck, and I (finally) really enjoyed it! I just roasted it. Dry rubbed with salt to help it get nice and brown, and some spices, propped up with some onions so it wasn't stewing in it's own fat, and just threw it in the oven for a few hours (was thawed first for a couple days in the fridge). Yum! I always start birds upside-down and then flip to get the breast side nice and golden, and then rest meat for at least half an hour in a tinfoil tent, breast-side down. I have become expert and getting perfect poultry skin this way, it is always crispy and mouth-watering!
Roasted Beet Salad with Feta, walnuts, and pea shoots
We are not huge fans of beets, but this was pretty good, and simple: I didn't use a recipe, but this looks close:
Sausage Pasta with kamut noodles, root veggies, and grape tomatoes
This is adapted from my favourite pasta recipe from Jamie Oliver: Proper Bloke's Sausage Fusilli
I make this ALL the time, and love it. The best part is the fennel seeds, in fennel season I use fresh fennel and it's even better!
Roast quail with maple bacon roasted sweet potatoes and mushrooms and April TapRoot Salad
Jon was downstairs throwing in a load of laundry yesterday, but when I took these little guys out of the package I called-- No, I exclaimed "SQUEEEEEEEEEEE!!" and YELLED for Jon to come see. The 6-pack of quail looked like little baby chickens sitting in a hot tub, or a slightly demented chorus line! They were totally anatomically chickens, all the same bones, just tiny. And SO delicious! It could have had something to do with the bacon fat I rubbed on them, but still. Roasted in the oven with lots of garlic.
The sweet potatoes were peeled, pan rubbed with bacon fat, and then tossed in spice mixture (cumin, garam masala, cinnamon, maple syrup, olive oil) and roasted until soft. Mushrooms added with 20 minutes left to cook.
Salad was Foxhill feta, shredded beet, pea shoots, grape tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, and PURE maple gastrique as a dressing.
And check out my weekend nitrate-free bacon adventures, too!