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Oct 17, 2006 03:41 AM

Jerusalem Artichokes

Any recipe ideas for this odd little tuber?

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  1. My mom just peels them and adds them straight to salads.

    2 Replies
    1. re: coolbean98

      Raw or boiled first? Whole or cut up? If raw, how do they taste in comparison to cooked? I've never had them raw.

      1. re: Atahualpa

        Raw and thinly sliced or shredded, as they are very crunchy. I have only had them this way so I couldn't tell you how they taste compared to cooked ones! Here's more on them (raw and otherwise):

    2. I love them in soup. There are dozens of recipes online - choose any - they give a great consistency and great flavor to soup.

      1. i like to peel them, roast them with whole peeled shallots, tomatoes, olives, and a bit of stock at 500. stirring often!

        1. Watch out for any parts that have turned pink or red, that's a sign they've gone off.

          They're nice raw in salads. Peel, then grate or slice thinly. They're good mixed with similarly prepared carrots, fennel, and/or fresh water chestnuts. Shaved parmesan goes well, as does white truffle oil.

          Also nice mixed with potatoes, parsnips, and/or celery root in roast diced vegetables, soup, puree, or mash.

          Random factoids, they're not a kind of artichoke. They're the root of a kind of sunflower, and "Jerusalem" is a corruption of "girasole," the Italian word for sunflower.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            OK, "Jerusalem" is a corruption of girasole, but why is "artichoke" part of the name?

            1. re: blue room

              Because they are all part of the same family. The thistle family is artichokes, sunflowers and sunchokes (aka "jerusalem artichokes." a regular Globe artichoke is an unopened flower - think of a sunflower bud - and the jerusalem artichoke or sunchoke is the tuberous root or a similar flower.

              1. re: jjb75

                They are indeed both Astereae (Asters in the broadest sense). However that still makes them quite unrelated botanically -- Artichokes are a European thistle (Cynara scolymus) and Sunchokes are the tubers of a North American sunflower (Helianthus Tuberosa).

                As such, I have always been told that the artichoke portion of the name comes from the fact they were thought to taste similar.

                1. re: Atahualpa

                  Yeah, the plants and flowers aren't similar, but cooked Jerusalem artichoke tubers taste vaguely like artichoke hearts.


          2. I read somewhere that the "Jerusalem" is a corruption of an American Indian word and the "Artichoke" part is because the taste is simular (although I don't think so).
            My favorite way to prepare them is to slice about 1/4 inch thick, blanch in satled boiling water a few min. and ice bath. Then simply sautee them in butter/olive oil, finishing with a sprinkling of parmesan, squeeze of lemon, s & P.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Ida Red

              I wouldn't blanch them, the flavor's mild to start with.

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Yes, but the blanching here is more for cooking purposes... as you would do with potatoes.

                1. re: Ida Red

                  For partial precooking I prefer steaming, since it retains the flavor.