Jerusalem Artichokes

Jerusalem Artichokes, also known as Sun-chokes, are tubers of a type of sunflower, rather than artichokes, as the name suggests.  They aren’t from Jerusalem; they are native to North America.  They were first cultivated by the Native Americans long before the arrival of the Europeans; this extensive cultivation makes the exact native range of the species obscure.  The French explorer Samuel de Champlain found them being grown at Cape Cod in 1605.  The Jerusalem artichoke was titled ‘best soup vegetable’ in the 2002 Nice festival for the heritage of the French cuisine.  (from Wikipedia) 

Scrub them and don’t peel them, because the nutrients are just below the surface of the skin.  Jerusalem Artichokes are similar in nutrition and use to potatoes.  They have 650 mg. of potassium per 1 cup (150g) serving.  They are also high in iron, and contain 10-12% of the US RDA of fiber, niacin, thiamine, phosphorus and copper.  Use them in all of the same ways you use potatoes  They are good sliced thin in a stir-fry… you can also mash, boil, bake, gratin, roast, etc…  You can use them raw in a salad but put some lemon or vinegar over them because they oxidize quickly.  They pair particularly well with potatoes. 

A favorite way to prepare them is sliced, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper, and then roast them in a 400ºF oven for 45 minutes until they are golden brown.  They are surprisingly sweet and kind of nutty-tasting. 

Try these recipes from the “Spirit of the Harvest, North American Indian Cooking” shared by CNF member Cherie C. 

Cherokee Spiced Jerusalem Artichokes
1 lb Jerusalem artichokes
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1/4 tsp dill seed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Salt, to taste (optional)
Salad greens, for serving 

Scrub Jerusalem artichokes and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices.  Blanch slices in boiling water for 1 minute.  Drain and reserve cooking liquid.

Place remaining ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Pour over slicedJerusalemartichokes and marinate for several hours, refrigerated.  Serve as a condiment or as a salad on a bed of greens.
Serves 6

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup
2 lbs Jerusalem artichokes
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
Salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill

Scrub Jerusalem artichokes and cook in simmering water for 30-40 minutes, until tender.  Drain and discard cooking liquid.  Peel and mash artichokes and place in a large saucepan.  Stir in chicken broth and green onions.

Simmer for about 15 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve sprinkled with dill.
Serves 4-6

Broiled Jerusalem Artichokes
1 1/2 lbs Jerusalem artichokes
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or other melted fat
Salt (optional) 

Wash artichokes and scrub well with a vegetable brush.  Rub with oil and sprinkle lightly with salt.  Broil about 6 inches from the heat for 20-30 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork.  Serve with meat or fish as a substitute for potatoes.
Serves 6

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