• Hungry Pumpkin

Raw, cooked, or baked - Jerusalem artichoke

Using lesser-known foods in the kitchen can be fun! Not only do you get to dazzle your friends and family with your interesting new food, but you also get to try out new tastes and textures that you may otherwise miss out on. A few days ago, we offered you an introduction to the Jerusalem artichoke (here), but today we take it a step further with some ideas on quick and tasty preparation of this unique vegetable!

As we talked about previously, the part of the Jerusalem artichoke used are the thickened portions of the roots, better known as tubers. In this, they are similar to potatoes, which are also tubers, though from a different plant family. However, like potatoes, the Jerusalem artichoke can be cooked in any way possible. Roast them, fry them, boil them, bake them, broil them... You're in for a tasty treat no matter which way you do that. These cool vegetables can even be eaten raw! This time we will introduce you to three different methods that we tried, but also throw in some other ideas...

Let us list the ways...

We had a bundle of fun with these various preparations of the Jerusalem artichoke. To begin, we made chips out of it, then we pan-fried it, and for our final use we combined it with a salad, thus getting a chance to try it raw. No matter which way it is prepared, it has a pleasant and sweet taste! Another great thing about this vegetable is that you don't need to peel the skins off, just to wash them with a brush, which makes Jerusalem artichokes very quick to prepare, and saves you those occasional cuts on your hands when a peeler slips.

To prepare the Jerusalem artichoke chips, we cut the tubers into thin slices of about 3 mm thick. That being said, you could also cut them into strips. On a lightly oiled baking tray, we spread out our slices side by side and popped them into our preheated oven. After 10 minutes, we flipped the slices and put them back in the oven for another 10 minutes. When we felt they were sufficiently crispy, we took them out and seasoned with a bit of salt. You could also get really wild and use a range of other spices to season them such as curry, chilli powder, pepper, or anything else you can think of! If we are using a new vegetable, might as well try new combinations too!

For the pan-fried Jerusalem artichoke, we combined it with some tasty and nutritious lentils. To start off, we boiled the Jerusalem artichokes in salted water. We cooked them like this for about 40 minutes, being careful not to overcook. Obviously, the cooking time depends on the size of the tubers, just as it would for potatoes. Once they were sufficiently cooked, we cut them into slices. We then browned some onions in olive oil before adding in the slices of cooked Jerusalem artichoke and the lentils (we chose to use canned lentils, but you can get them dried and cook them yourself too!). We then cooked everything up and seasoned to taste. Though we chose to use just a little salt, you could also use a range of spices, perhaps adding Mexican or Asian inspiration to this dish. It really is very versatile, and different spices can make it into an entirely different dish!

Now, unlike potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes can be eaten raw. The raw tubers are very crisp and juicy, with a taste reminiscent of hazelnuts. This combination of juice and crunch make them a perfect addition to many different types of salads. We chose to go with a simple salad, merely grating Jerusalem artichoke and adding it to lettuce before lightly seasoning it with vinegar and oil. You can easily jazz this salad up by adding beans, celery, fennel, radish, or most anything else you could think of.

Now, though all these dishes were delicious, they don't need to be the end of your experimenting. Mashed potatoes from Jerusalem artichoke, made into a vegetable sauce, added to soups, and (let's get really crazy) maybe even added with flour and boiled to make gnocchi!

How about desserts? Maybe grilled Jerusalem artichoke with roasted and chopped hazelnuts on baked apples, topped with peanut butter and honey and coconut cream? Really, only your imagination limits what you can use any given food for!

Nutritional value

In the table below you can find the nutritional value for 100 g of Jerusalem artichoke. Due to its inulin, it is suitable for diabetics, and its high content of iron, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin E make it a great addition to any of our diets.

If you have any questions or comments then shoot them off to us at hungry.pumpkin.blog@gmail.com. We will be happy to answer you!

Have a great week!

The Hungry Pumpkin Team