Earlier this week, I posted about our unusual squid ink salmon burgers, and mentioned that we ate them with some roasted Jerusalem artichokes. I promised a recipe, and gosh darn it, I will deliver!
Before moving here, I had never heard of Jerusalem artichokes (also called sunchokes) even though they have been called, at times, Canadian Potatoes or Canadian Truffles! How did I not know of these in Canada? Now that I know about them, I’m thinking we may try to grow some in our allotment. That is, if our stomachs can get used to them… some people call them fartichokes. (No joke!)
Ricard was quite uncomfortable the day after we had them for the first time, as he ate more than me. Apparently they contain high levels of inulin, which you can’t digest, but it is eaten by the bacteria in your colon – good for feeding the nice bacteria, but it can be a bit of an overload if you’re not used to them (serious bloating). So if you do try these, don’t go eating the whole batch at once, you’ve been warned!
However, I like the unusual, somewhat sweet/nutty flavor, and that they’re high in iron and low in starch. A fun alternative to the humble potato, and perfect with a tangy, garliky aioli! As they are in season right now, go see if you can find them! I’ve managed to get them at the Borough Market (handy since I work there), but first read about them in Waitrose’s magazine. I imagine some of their larger stores will carry them.
The only downside to Jerusalem artichokes, besides the flatulence that is, is that they take more effort to prepare than roasted potatoes. (Although, unlike potatoes, you can eat these raw!) It’s best to boil them first, and then roast them, in order to get them nice and crispy. So if you’re planning on doing these for a weeknight meal, do what I did, and boil them the day before.
Oh, and about that aioli? Try and make sure that you use a good oil. It doesn’t have to be olive oil (try any mild flavored oil) but if you do use it, make sure to get a good olive oil. The first time we did this recipe it was amazing, but the second ended up being a tad bitter as our new oil wasn’t very good. Feel free to experiment with the spices and garlic too – I always do. If strong garlic isn’t your thing, try roasted garlic, or garlic flavored oil!
- 500 g Jerusalem artichokes (washed, no need to peel)
- 200 ml olive oil
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 tsp whole grain mustard
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 lemon zest
- 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- Halve or quarter your artichokes into fingers about 2cm thick. Cook in salted boiling water for 15-20 minutes, until soft but not falling apart. Drain and allow to dry.
- While artichokes are drying, preheat oven to 200°C (392°F).
- Toss the artichokes in 100 ml of the oil, and arrange on a tray in a single layer. Sprinkle with a bit of salt, and roast for 45-50 minutes, tossing halfway through, until crispy.
- While the artichokes are roasting, prepare the aioli.
- Using a hand blender, or food processor, blend the egg yolk with the mustard, garlic, and a generous pinch of salt. Add the remaining oil in a thin stream, while blending, until spoonably thick (you might not need all).
- Add the lemon zest and juice, a little at a time, until satisfied. (If the aioli is too bitter, try adding more salt.) Sprinkle in some paprika, and loosen with a little water if desired.
- Once the artichokes are roasted, season with paprika, toss, and serve.
Make sure to use good quality olive oil, to prevent it tasting bitter. Or, use any other mild flavored oil.