Jerusalem Artichokes

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Jerusalem Artichokes

Postby Jenise » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:04 pm

Also known as sunchokes, which I'm going to make a small gratin of tonight to go with a roast Cornish game hen for two.

While facing my task, I remembered seeing pictures of a spectacular lunch Ines Nyby and some friends had at the Jules Verne restaurant in Paris' Eiffel Tower. In one or two dishes, there was this spectacular green object like nothing I've ever seen before. What's that, I asked. Jerusalem artichoke, I was told. Wha-aat? New to me. Here in Washington, I've seen purple and brown skinned, like the ones I'm using tonight. The flesh of both is off-white. But what Ines experienced in Paris was an intense, vivid green. Anyone ever see anything like that?

And speaking of this delightful root/tuber, how do you prepare them? We eat them often in salads, raw. It's rare that I get around to cooking them--they tend to only show up at the Co-op locally, organic, and therefore $6/lb or so. But last week I found them at H-Mart for $2-3, so I stocked up.
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Re: Jerusalem Artichokes

Postby Karen/NoCA » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:30 pm

I've only had them raw in salads, or as a snack with hummus. I have heard that some folks are very bothered by them when cooked, as they can act much the same way beans do, only much worse.
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Re: Jerusalem Artichokes

Postby Jenise » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:54 pm

Beans? Wow, had no idea, but what I just found on the 'net says you're quite right, though nothing I read said that cooked is worse than raw. They contain inulin which cannot be broken down by the human digestive system and can cause flatulence and sometimes gastric pain. The English planter John Goodyer on Jerusalem artichokes: "which way soever they be dressed and eaten, they stir and cause a filthy loathsome stinking wind within the body, thereby causing the belly to be pained and tormented, and are a meat more fit for swine than men."

The English call them 'fartichokes'. However, one article in Bon Appetit said they asked some American chefs who use them in their cooking about it, and all but one of those chefs were unaware of the bad rep. The one who did know of it, however, said that some people are more susceptible to the problem than others. If apples, he said, tend to make things rumble down below, then you're someone who would also have a problem with Jerusalem artichokes. The rest of us should experience nothing more than a minor social inconvenience, if that.
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Re: Jerusalem Artichokes

Postby Ines Nyby » Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:11 am

Hi Jenise and All:
Minor correction, the fabulous green jerusalem artichoke dish I enjoyed in Paris was at L'Epi Dupin, on the Rue Dupin in Paris, not the Jules Verne, where indeed we had a fabulous lunch but without those amazing jerusalem artichokes. At L'Epi Dupin the green jerusalem artichokes were very lightly battered, then served in a wonderful creamy sauce as a first course. Like Jenise, I've never seen them other than beige or purple here in the USA. I've forgotten how to insert a photo here, but if someone reminds me how, I can put in a photo of the dish we had in Paris.
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Re: Jerusalem Artichokes

Postby Peter May » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:54 am

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Re: Jerusalem Artichokes

Postby Jenise » Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:21 pm

So here's an update of sorts:

For dinner last night, we had a Jerusalem artichoke and watercress salad, followed by a generous helping each of cooked Jerusalem artichokes (not a gratin after all, but simmered in water, then fried-off with butter with but lemon juice and salt for seasoning served on the side with a half roasted Cornish hen.

There have been no gastrointestinal repercussions.
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Re: Jerusalem Artichokes

Postby Ted Richards » Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:22 pm

Jenise wrote:And speaking of this delightful root/tuber, how do you prepare them?


Cut them in half or quarters, toss them in olive oil, add salt, pepper, garlic cloves and fresh rosemary or thyme, and roast them, either by themselves, or with other root vegetables (e.g. carrots, parsnips and shallots or cipollini onions).
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Re: Jerusalem Artichokes

Postby Jenise » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:08 pm

Ted Richards wrote:
Jenise wrote:And speaking of this delightful root/tuber, how do you prepare them?


Cut them in half or quarters, toss them in olive oil, add salt, pepper, garlic cloves and fresh rosemary or thyme, and roast them, either by themselves, or with other root vegetables (e.g. carrots, parsnips and shallots or cipollini onions).


Mmm...sounds good. No trouble keeping them from blackening before they get sufficiently cooked? Fear of oxidation is why I went to the water bath first. Btw, and this is pretty apropos of nothing, but the godforsaken eastern side of this beautiful state is awash with sunchokes (so much easier to type than Jerusalem artichokes, which per Wikipedia no one by whence came that name). Inexpensive and piles of them in regular mainstream grocers, vs. the little dish in the specialty produce area I see over here. It must be a local crop in the Palouse--proof that there's always something to envy about everywhere. :)
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