Jerusalem Artichokes: Worth Some Attention

Last weekend, while putting the garden to bed, I pulled quite a few Jerusalem artichokes. These things, which are a variety of sunflower, have edible roots—tubers—that can be cooked. If you’re like my mother, you’ll even eat them raw, like jicama, in a salad.

These are Jerusalem artichokes, whose roots you can eat, and which you often see along roadsides.

These are Jerusalem artichokes, which you often see along roadsides.

I have to confess that I have merely tolerated these in my garden, mostly for the flowers and the general cover they provide. They are as invasive as mint, and they have, I kid you not, marched across my garden from the neighboring one and are now between the fence and the sidewalk. That’s okay, and that’s where I pulled them and found tubers of a size that looked worth trying to cook.

I had sage, thyme and cutting celery to go with these.  They are easy to peel with a vegetable peeler.

I had sage, thyme and cutting celery to go with these. They are easy to peel with a vegetable peeler.

While my father grew these and I knew I must have eaten them, I had no clue what to do with them, so went to the internet, where I found that they are often paired with cream and butter, as well as thyme and sage, both of which I have in abundance. There were some recipes that suggested roasting and sautéing. Some suggested peeling and others simply suggested slicing thinly. I went with peeling and cutting into inch long pieces.

I didn't peel them all completely because I wanted to get an idea of the flavor.

I didn’t peel them all completely because I wanted to get an idea of the flavor.

I chopped some garlic and started heating it in olive oil, then I dropped the tubers and some chopped sage and thyme into a pan.

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When they had begun to brown, I turned them.

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Then I busied myself chopping some of the cutting celery I had taken from the garden. I added this, a dash of white wine, and covered the pan.

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The result was tasty. A bit like a potato, but less starchy and with a texture more like a cooked carrot. I think these would go well with roasted winter vegetables, and I also think leaving the skin on would lend a more distinctive flavor. I’ll be paying more attention to these plants next fall!

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4 Responses to Jerusalem Artichokes: Worth Some Attention

  1. I came for a visit and found Jerusalem Artichokes! I have been curious about these as I have never eaten them, wouldn’t know how to cook them and have recently been offered some – that’s serendipity for you. The recipe sounds very nice! The herb you call ‘cutting celery’ is that also known as parcel, or par-cel?

    Like

    • arlingwoman says:

      That’s great! I avoided them for a while because they looked like trouble, but were easy to prepare. The cutting celery looks a little like large parsley growing in a flattened pattern. Tastes like celery, but is mostly leaves. You could substitute parsley, but I’m not sure if it goes by any other names. Good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Cold Frame Returns, Along With The Jerusalem Artichokes | arlingwords

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