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Jerusalem artichokes

Quite different in appearance and taste from the globe artichoke the Jerusalem artichoke is a knobbly root vegetable that is similar in appearance to fresh root ginger and can be up to 12 cm in length. Rather confusingly the Jerusalem artichoke is not a member of the artichoke family and has nothing to do with Jerusalem! It is a member of the sunflower family and its name is thought to have originated from the Italian for sunflower, girasole. Jerusalem artichokes have a satisfying nutty, earthy flavour. When buying, choose firm, unblemished tubers, try to avoid really misshapen artichokes as they are difficult to peel.

How to Use

Jerusalem artichokes can be eaten raw or cooked. Grated raw artichokes add a subtle nutty flavour to salads or they can be simply tossed in vinaigrette or mayonnaise. Cooked artichokes are great served with butter, mashed with other root vegetables such as potatoes, carrots or parsnips or served in a creamy sauce. They can also be made into vegetable crisps or soup.

How to Prepare

Peel or scrub the artichokes and cut into even-sized pieces for cooking. Place them into a bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice added to prevent them from discolouring. If the artichokes are particularly knobbly, cook them first and then peel off the skins before serving.

How to Cook

Artichokes can be boiled or steamed; the cooking times will depend on the size of the pieces. To boil, bring a pan of water to the boil and add the prepared artichokes, cook for 15-20 minutes or until tender. To steam, place the artichokes in a steamer and steam for 20-25 minutes or until tender.

How to Store

Keep in a cool, dry place or in the fridge for up to 1 week.