Sweet Pea Specialists
The Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) is a perennial sunflower native to North America. They have a white nutty flesh that is sweet and crunchy. Jerusalem artichokes can be cooked in much the same way as potatoes or parsnips, and are excellent roasted, sautéed, dipped in batter and fried, or puréed into a delicious soup. Plus you can add them raw to salads.
Cooking with Jerusalem Artichokes
Jerusalem artichokes contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, notably iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Also there is some vitamin C, a variety of B vitamins, calcium, and a few other nutrients so add this vegetable to your menu.
Just scrub them clean - there's no need to peel them. If you do peel them, drop them into acidulated water until you're ready to use them because the flesh discolours quickly. Keep an eye on them while cooking as they can turn to mush quite quickly.
Sautéed Jerusalem artichokes with garlic and bay leaves (Jamie Oliver)
Plant tubers into well-prepared soil in full sun, planting at a depth of 10-15cm spaced 30cm apart. Tubers can also be grown in a large tubs filled with good compost. Harvest in 15-20 weeks when the plants start to die down (autumn).
Being part of the sunflower family, the flowers are excellent for floral arrangements.