Jerusalem Artichokes are nothing like the Globe Artichokes we’re accustomed to seeing in the grocery store. They’re actually knotty tubers which grow at the base of a plant very similar to a sunflower. Above you can see some of the tubers I dug up from the garden and scrubbed clean.
What I appreciate about this plant is that they can actually become somewhat invasive, and will continue to come back year after year, spreading tubers in the ground. I’m grateful for anything that will feed my family with very little effort, so I welcome a multiplying harvest.
But do they taste good?
We finally ate some of our homegrown Jerusalem Artichokes (aka Sunchokes) for the first time, and although the kids weren’t fans my husband and I thought they tasted like potatoes. Jerry actually thought they were potatoes until I told him otherwise.
Update Dec. 2015: I’ve learned that you need to allow the tubers to stay in the ground through a few good frosts before digging them up to eat. This reduces their starchy-ness and gives them a much better flavor.
Fortunately they don’t need to be peeled before you eat them. That would be a nightmare. They can be eaten raw, though they’re starchy like a potato and aren’t very pleasant that way. We enjoyed them roasted with parsnips. The following recipe comes from the Practical Paleo cookbook.
Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes
- 8 Jerusalem Artichoke tubers, washed
- 4 parsnips or carrots, peeled (optional)
- 3 Tbsp melted coconut oil or butter
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 425*.
Chop the tubers and parsnips into sticks about 1/4″ thick, 2-3 inches long. Toss all ingredients together until thoroughly mixed. Spread the veggies on a baking sheet and roast for 30 min. or until tender.
I think next time I’ll add more artichokes to the dish. Very yummy.