A teacher who used to work for me, and is now a good friend, is in Israel for the year.   Thanks to a limited student budget and a love for cooking, he's spending a decent amount of time trying out new veggies and ways to cook them up, and even admits to liking them!  He loved, albeit kind-heartedly, teasing me about my vegan way of life while he was still in NY.   Oh, the joy of karma! (Ok...if I were going to wish for karma it wouldn't be for this but that's not a conversation for now...)

Today we were emailing back and forth about the Jerusalem artichoke (neither from Jerusalem nor an artichoke), also known as sunchokes, and how hard they can be to cook.  It left me inspired to post some good recipes for him (and you) to try.  (His other new vegetable was kohlrabi, described as something out of Pixar's Monsters, Inc.  I'm leaving that one alone for now until I have time to experiment, but the description did make me laugh.  It's far tastier than it looks.)

Jerusalem artichokes are sweet, a bit garlicky and a bit like potato, making them rather versatile.   A little oil and kosher salt roasted in the oven?  Yum...easy enough, but here are two actual measured recipes for you to try:

Sautéd Jerusalem Artichokes with Garlic and Bay Leaves, Courtesy of Jamie Oliver

1lb 6oz of Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into chunks.
2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
3 bay leaves
White wine (a splash)
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the artichokes in an oiled frying pan and fry on a medium heat until golden on both sides.
Next add the bay leaves, garlic, a splash of white wine vinegar, some salt and pepper, and place a lid on top. After about 20 to 25 minutes they will have softened up nicely and you can remove the lid and the bay leaves. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes to crisp the artichoke slices up one last time, then serve straight away.

Potato Mash, Courtesy of Bon Apetite (adapted):

1 pound Jerusalem artichokes, unpeeled, scrubbed, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
3 tablespoons non-dairy butter

Combine Jerusalem artichokes and potatoes in large pot. Pour enough cold water over to cover; add 1 tablespoon coarse salt.
Bring to boil; reduce heat and boil gently until all vegetables are tender when pierced with knife, about 18 minutes.
Drain, reserving cooking liquid, and return vegetables to pot.
Mash vegetables, adding reserved cooking liquid by 1/2 cupfuls to moisten until chunky mixture forms.
Stir in non-dairy butter.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer to bowl and serve.

Note: This can be made 2 hours ahead. Transfer mash to large heatproof bowl and let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in same bowl set over simmering water, stirring occasionally, before serving.


Veg and the City