Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Jerusalem Artichokes

Here, in honour of Canalside’s surprise Jerusalem artichoke harvest, is a simple recipe. Jerusalem artichokes originated in North America; they were one of the many new foods that reached Europe in the aftermath of Columbus’s 1492 voyage to the Americas. Their name has nothing to do with the Middle-Eastern city. Rather, it reflects the fact that Jerusalem artichokes are botanically related to the sunflower, or girasole in Italian. ‘Jerusalem’ is an approximation of the Italian name. The ‘artichoke’ bit reflects the vague similarity in taste between globe artichokes and our little tubers. In French the name . . . , well, that’s probably enough history.

Jerusalem Artichokes with Cream and Herbs
Serves 4 as a side dish.

Ingredients
500g Jerusalem artichokes
4 shallots, peeled
2 cloves of garlic
150ml crème fraîche
salt and pepper to taste
juice of 1 lemon
150g medium-hard cheese, grated. You could use Emmental, gruyère, Jarlsberg, or Gouda, for instance. Cheddar would work too.
4 sprigs of fresh thyme, or about 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
a handful of parsley, chopped

Preparation
Pre-heat the oven to 200C. Bring a large pan of water to the boil.

Once the water is boiling drop in the Jerusalem artichokes and boil gently for 15 minutes, and drain. This allegedly reduces the tuber’s gas-inducing tendencies.

While the Jerusalem artichokes are cooking cut the shallots lengthwise into boat-shaped pieces. Finely chop the garlic.

Cut the drained Jerusalem artichokes into chunks.

Combine everything aside from the parsley and tip into an ovenproof dish.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the Jerusalem artichokes are tender. The top should turn an appetising golden colour but keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn.

Remove from the oven and top with the chopped parsley and an additional grind or two of pepper.

Recipe adapted from http://www.jarlsberg.com/uk/recipes/jerusalem-atichokes-au-gratin

Dom’s Recipe of the Week: Frittata from the oven

This is a great way to use up odds and ends of fresh veg, and leftovers too. You can use more or less whatever you fancy from the list, though I do think some kind of onion is essential. As the egg is poured straight into the roasting dish full of hot veg, you don’t need to fry this frittata at all, but it helps to have a heavy ceramic or cast-iron dish, which retains the heat well. And the eggs should be at room temperature, not cold from the fridge.

Oven-roasted roots frittata

Ingredients

About 600g mixed winter veg, such as onions, carrots, squash or pumpkin, parsnip, celeriac, beetroot, jerusalem artichokes, black spanish radish, potatoes
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
3 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
7 large or 8 medium eggs
A handful of mixed herbs, such as curly parsley, chives and thyme, finely chopped
About 20g Parmesan, hard goat’s cheese or other well-flavoured hard cheese, grated
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas Mark 5. Meanwhile, prepare your chosen veg: peel shallots or onions and quarter or thickly slice; peel carrots and cut into 5mm slices; peel squash or pumpkin, deseed and cut into 2–3cm cubes; peel parsnip, celeriac and beetroot and cut into 1–2cm cubes; cut potatoes into 1–2cm cubes.

Put all the veg into an ovenproof dish, about 23cm square. Add the garlic, oil and plenty of salt and pepper and toss well. Roast for about 40 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the veg are all tender and starting to caramelise in places.

Beat the eggs together with the chopped herbs and some more salt and pepper. Take the dish from the oven, pour the egg evenly over the veg and scatter over the grated cheese. Return to the oven for 10–15 minutes until the egg is all set and the top is starting to colour. If your oven has a grill, you can use that to accelerate the browning of the top.

Leave to cool slightly, then slide the frittata out on to a plate or board. Serve warm or cold. Perfect lunchbox fare…

Thanks to River Cottage

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