Digging up the very last of the Jerusalem artichoke, this is pretty much the final harvest of the year, besides a little kale and maybe a last few tiny cauliflower and cabbage. The few remaining feet of the original 50′ (15m) double row yielded about half a bushel. Not bad. Plenty for spring planting, and some to experiment with in the winter kitchen (I still haven’t fully figured out the eating part of chokes, I’ve steamed and roasted, the texture is nice, the taste mild, but the JA’s true culinary delights have yet to be revealed to me).
Anyhow, despite many freezing nights, the ground is still perfectly soft, and the harvest is all just pulling chokes, with the digging fork around only to turn the nearby soil in search of tubers that strayed from the conveniently compact root ball. Quick and easy, and the season in this field is suddenly…done!
6 thoughts on “Last of the chokes”
During a brief visit in Southampton, England, our hostess served us a vegetable soup that had diced Jerusalem Artichokes in it along with carrots, and I don’t remember what else. I enjoyed it. Not a lot of flavor, as I remember, but a nice clean earthy taste. Hmmmm, is that a contradiction? Anyway, I am sure you have read they can be used the same ways we use potatoes.
I am from England and I do a soup too, this one is with bacon and truly brings out the flavour.
You peel the chokes, then thinly slice them (or grate them on the slice side of the grater) into acidulated water (I use a squeeze of lemon) so they don’t go brown. You then fry some smoked streaky bacon until well browned, add the chokes with the lemon water and a vegetable stock cube and boil the lot for around half an hour. When the chokes are done, liquidize the soup and serve with some sourdough bread. Really yummy!
The way I like em is to slice them about 1/4 inch thick and toss them into a skillet w/ melted butter, salt and pepper. The idea is to coat them w/ the butter and put a lid on so the moisture in the ‘chokes steams and tenderizes them. The idea is to pan sauté them and you end up w/ something that resembles American fries, but is lots sweeter. Yum!
Be advised that Wikipedia points out that they contain the carbohydrate inulin (not to be confused with insulin) instead of starch. The inulin is not well digested by some people, leading in some cases to flatulence and gastric pain.
One of my favorite ways to eat sunchokes is to steam them and make a puree out of them with butter, salt, pepper and maybe a few fresh herbs/garlic. This served with steak or chicken goes very nicely. Or we roast them tossed in olive oil at very high heat (400+ degrees) so that they form a crispy outside and are creamy on the inside. Yum!
Hope you’re enjoying some down time now!
One of my favorite ways of eating them is as a soup made from steaming (in separate pans due to different cooking times) roughly equal parts of JA, celeriac and potatoes. After they are soft, mash together or puree in a blender, then and add enough reserved cooking water to make a soup like consistency. Top with a pat of butter, then salt and pepper to taste. Serve lukewarm.
I understand this is a popular dish in France.
check out the Ottoman cuisine for this. i live in turkey and have this as a meal every week. it is in the zeytinyagli category — olive oil dishes. probably you can get a good turkish recipe in english online for this. it has a distinctive taste and very good with the diced peas, carrots and potatoes piled on top of each arti.