Monday, 2 June 2014

An unexpected glut (Jerusalem Artichokes)

Sometime last year we were given some Jerusalem Artichoke tubers which I duly planted in the vegie garden and forgot about.

Sometime later, Mum and I were both a little surprised to see a crop of sunflowers spring up in the vegie garden, but as flowers are always appreciated, we left them to brighten up that corner of the garden.

Yesterday,  lunchtime was spent complaining about the lack of excessive produce from the garden. Barring limes, there is never so much of a particular crop that I am forced to jump into the kitchen and start preserving the leftover produce. 

Wandering outside to uproot the suckers of the raspberry canes, I pulled out the dead sunflower stalks to make space, and rediscovered the jerusalem artichokes I'd planted an eon ago. From two plants alone I was provided with my desired glut and so got cleaning and cooking. 

Having broken the tubers into cleanable pieces (they look like ginger roots), they were then divided into piles relating to their intended future. 

Clockwise from bottom right: steamed for soup, to pickle, to roast x2

Soup seemed to be the easiest creation and something for which there are thousands of recipes. This unwritten recipe was steamed jerusalem artichokes and garlic, pureed with stock, salt, pepper and cream and served with a dollop of yoghurt. 

The flavour was interesting, nice, and the texture was definitely nutty, as though miniscule pieces of water chestnut littered the soup. 

Though not the reason behind this recipe, the internet told me that pickling jerusalem artichokes was a great way to stop these vegetables from being so flatulence-inducing. It also sounded like an interesting recipe and something family and friends were likely to at least try. So after slicing them, dumping them in acidulated water, soaking them in brine overnight and making the vinegar concoction...

... they looked a little like this:
The smell of the flavoured vinegar as this was boiling was amazing so hopefully the slices of jerusalem artichoke are as fragrant and enjoyable enough to warrant making again. 

They'll be ready to eat in a week, so we'll see. 

The roasted ones got eaten before I could photograph them. I treated them like potatoes as they were supposed to taste like sweeter nuttier potatoes. They were definitely nuttier with a distinct aroma that filled the oven as they slowly roasted side by side with the real potatoes. 
They are definitely more flavourful than potatoes, but I'm not sure they really can be compared as they seemed nothing alike in taste, texture or aroma. Not sure they're likely to become a standard part of my diet any time soon.

Now to determine what to do with the other two plants still in the vegie garden. 

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