March 16th, 2016
The letter is J, for Jerusalem Artichoke
When we first came to live in town we discovered this lovely fence screen in the back garden, - what looked like sunflowers, but obviously weren't.
A little research and we found they were Jerusalem Artichoke plants, and they grew from tubers that look something like ginger root, with a knobby, irregular shape.
The plants bloom in late summer and the brownish red tubers which grow in clusters underground are ready for harvesting once the flower dies, through September and October - and maybe even November.
They are very easy to grow in backyard gardens, and although it was a couple of years before I tried to cook them eventually we found them to be a little sweet, a little crunchy
and slightly watery in consistency.
To cook them, don't peel, but scrub them well. Then steam them whole for about fifteen minutes and refresh in cold water. They are best eaten at room temperature, says Karen Barnaby, a Vancouver executive chef, and she would serve them with a garlic mayonnaise. (half a cup of mayonnaise, stir in a clove of minced garlic, about two teaspoons of honey and two teaspoons of whole capers) Cut the cooked Jerusalem artichokes in half inch slices and serve them with a nice piece of roasted halibut, with the mayonnaise on the side......
I would probably peel them, drop them into cold water with a teaspoon of lemon juice, cook them for ten to twenty minutes or until they are a bit resistant in the centre when pierced by the point of a knife (but not hard). Remove from heat and drain, slice, toss with parsley and butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper. And I would serve them hot.
Bon Appetit for those of you who have them growing along the fence in their back yard, crowding out the barnflowers, Or perhaps your local super market carries them
in their exotic section of veggies....
For more interesting Js click here to visit ABC Wednesday
with thanks to Roger, Denise and Jolly Helpers.