Jerusalem artichokes is a bit of a misnomer. They’re neither artichokes nor do they hail from Israel. I heard the name “Jerusalem” comes from the Italian word for sunflower – girasole. This vegetable belongs to the sunflower family and it’s a small, lumpy, brown-skinned tuber instead of the beautiful green of the true globe artichoke.
Here’s a photo of an artichoke with Jerusalem artichokes side by side. They look very different coz they *are* completely different things. I got both of them while grocery shopping yesterday.
I found a recipe by Jamie Oliver for Sautéed Jerusalem Artichokes and modified it a bit. I cooked this last night for dinner while my better half came out with the protein dish. You will need:
- 200 grams Jerusalem artichokes
- 100 grams Portobello mushrooms
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 100 ml dry white cooking wine
- Salt and pepper to taste
The hardest part about cooking Jerusalem artichokes is the peeling bit. The tubers are tiny and knobbly and it’s really hard to get a grip on the little things to peel away the skin. After that labor intensive process is done (enlisted the help of my dear – she volunteered after listening to the choice French phrases I directed at the tubers ) you just need to slice them into chunks.
I sautéed the the Jerusalem artichokes in a pressure frying pan with olive oil and some thinly sliced garlic until golden brown before adding in 50 ml of dry white wine (eye-balled it) and putting the lid back on.
I waited for 15 minutes and then put the sliced Portobello mushrooms in and adding the remaining 50 ml of white wine. I let it reduce (only takes a while coz the mushrooms absorb the wine) and served it up with some basil from our own herb garden.
We were both pleasantly surprised by the taste – the Jerusalem artichokes are crunchy and sweet! I thought it was just a bit of sales talk (grocery place-card says the tubers can be sweet) but it really is deliciously crisp and sweet! It’s a delicious dish, but Jerusalem artichokes sells for RM 39.90 per kg over here so it’s more expensive than local offerings.
I’ll love to eat it again though. I can see a lot of possibilities e.g. puréed, deep fried etc. I’m going to do a stuffed globe artichoke tonight so it’s back-to-back artichokes (except the Jerusalem artichoke is actually a tuber). :D