The Jerusalem Artichoke: Nova Scotia’s Best Kept Secret

A group of 11 (hungry) individuals gathered at Local Source Market on Thursday, January 13th for the first class in the winter cooking class series.  Carol, our teacher for the week, had designed a menu to spotlight the underappreciated Jerusalem artichoke.

 

Before we could begin cooking, there was a fair bit of scrubbing that needed to be done as many of our Jerusalem artichokes had come straight from the ground.  Unphased, we got to work.  Soon, elbow deep in sinks full of muddy water, we were done scrubbing and ready to peel and chop.  Luckily, Carol was able to instruct us on the basics of peeling these lumpy little tubers as it seems a daunting task at first.  In the end, we cleaned, peeled and chopped (oh, and ate of course!) about 9lbs of Jerusalem artichokes.

Cream of Jerusalem Artchoke Soup (serves 6-8 people)
2 lb. (1kg) Jerusalem artichokes, well scrubbed
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
1 large cooking onion, chopped
1/2 lb (250g) celey root, peeled and chopped
6 cups (1.5L) homemade stock (we used homemade veggie stock)
1 cup heavy cream (we used cream blend)
salt, pepper (white pepper preferably), and lemon juice to taste
top with fresh parsley

Chop the Jerusalem artichokes and place them in a bowl of cold water to prevent blackening. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Gently saute onion and celery root until soft – about 5 minutes. Add Jerusalem artichokes and stock. Simmer 20 minutes or until tender. Puree with a hand blender. Whisk in cream.

We also made our own (chunky) bacon bits with Oulton’s delicious bacon as an optional addition to the soup.

Raw Jerusalem Artichoke Salad

12 Jerusalem artichokes, thinly sliced

1 cup (quality) oil

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 clove crushed garlic

fresh dill, fresh thyme, salt and pepper to taste

I had never (knowingly at least) eaten a Jerusalem artichoke before. I have certainly been missing out! They are absolutely delicious – and very versitile. According to Carol, they are also very easy to grow. Hmm…

Yours in food, Keltie

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4 thoughts on “The Jerusalem Artichoke: Nova Scotia’s Best Kept Secret

  1. I love Jerusalem artichokes and they have a great story attached to the name. They are the root of the sunflower plant and the name of sunflowers in Italian is Girasole (sp?) which sounds a lot like Jerusalem to english ears. I leave it to another commenter to tell me why they are also called artichokes?

    They are very hard to get here in Ontario and I think it may be because no one knows what to do with them. We use them in soups, salads or just a simple saute with steak. Lov’em!

  2. Thanks for writing about this delicious vegetable. FYI, I don’t bother to peel the papery skin before cooking with them — a good scrubbing with a soft brush (the “world’s kindest nail brush” from Lee Valley works especially well) has always seemed to be enough.

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