You must be wondering what Jerusalem artichokes are. Are they different from the plain artichokes? Yes, the two are very different from each other.
Basics about Jerusalem Artichokes
Jerusalem artichokes are also called sunchoke, sunroot, topinambour or earth apple. They are actually sunflowers. It is the brown tubers found underground that are eaten. They are combined in soups or eaten by itself as side dishes. It can be roasted, boiled or sautéed, or served raw in salads.Artichokes, on the other hand, are also called globe artichokes, and are a thistle. It is green and famous as a snack when deep-fried.
Jerusalem artichokes are rich in insulin, so those with diabetes can consume it regularly to maintain healthy blood sugar. It is good for the heart and helps in regulating cholesterol level. It is high in iron, even higher than meat sources. This tuber is common and widely-available in the eastern North America so do not be confused with its name Jerusalem. You can even grow it in your own garden. When eaten, it has a creamy texture. When called for in a dish, you can substitute it with potatoes.
Recipe: (serves 4)
- Lamb, middle neck portion, 8 pcs.
- Jerusalem artichokes, 21 oz.
- Onions, medium to large, 2 pcs.
- Bay leaves, 2 pcs.
- Thyme, few sprigs.
- Fresh mint, 3 sprigs.
- Chestnutmushrooms, medium-size, 14 oz.
- Zest, grated, lemon ½ pc.
- Flour, 2 tbsp.
- Dry Marsala or white vermouth, 4 tbsp.
- Vegetable stock, 1 liter.
- Olive oil.
- In a deep pan, put a little oil and brown the pieces of lamb. Remove when cooked;
- Peel the onions, cut into small strips. Cook them in the fat from the lamb (step 1) until soft (approximately 20 mins.). You want it soft enough you can squash it with your fingers;
- Cut the mushrooms and cook with the onions until soft and golden;
- Put in the flour and let it sizzle;
- Pour in the white vermouth and stir;
- Add in the vegetable stock and stir to become a thick, rich sauce;
- Season with bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper;
- Wash the Jerusalem artichokes and make sure to remove all the mud or dirt;
- Cut some in half, while the others, cut smaller;
- The halved artichokes are to be added to the mixture already cooking;
- Add the cut lamb to the pot, making sure it is covered by the sauce. Cook for 30 minutes;
- In a separate pot, add salt to water and put the smaller-cut artichokes inside, bring to a boil;
- When tender (approximately 8 minutes), remove, drain and set aside;
- Prepare the oven at 180 degrees Celsius;
- After cooking the lamb, turn off the heat and put the salted artichokes on top of the lamb, brush some sauce on it;
- Bake in the oven for an hour;
- Just before serving, add in the chopped mint, grated lemon zest and stir.
Start your adventure with Jerusalem artichokes. One last tip: when buying, choose the less knobbly ones. They are easier to clean and prepare. Don’t choose the soft or moldy. When refrigerated, the Jerusalem artichokes can stay up to 2 weeks.