Have you ever tried roasted Jerusalem artichokes? These crispy, caramelized delights are incredibly addictive. In this article, I’ll share with you how to pick out the best Jerusalem artichokes and guide you through making this mouth-watering side dish.
The Adventure Begins: A Culinary Discovery
The other day, I stumbled upon a fascinating article on CNN.com. It listed various “Ugly Vegetables” that intrigued me. Among them was a mysterious vegetable I had never heard of before – the Jerusalem artichoke. Immediately, I felt compelled to try it. Ignoring the minor details of how to cook it, I confidently dropped some Jerusalem artichokes into my shopping cart during my next trip to Whole Foods.
Curiosity led me to the internet as soon as I arrived home. I embarked on a quest to learn everything I could about these intriguing tubers. Here’s what I discovered.
Unveiling the Jerusalem Artichoke
Jerusalem artichokes are the edible roots of beautiful flowers. Resembling ginger roots, they possess a unique taste completely distinct from their appearance. These delicate flowers, with their vibrant colors, hide a nutty, slightly sweet, and remarkably mild root. When roasted, Jerusalem artichokes are transformed into crispy, golden delights that tantalize your taste buds.
Hand-Picking the Best Jerusalem Artichokes
Trying new fruits and vegetables can be daunting, primarily when faced with the challenges of selecting and preparing them. However, picking out Jerusalem artichokes is a breeze. Look for firm, crisp pieces without any signs of softness or mold. Pay particular attention to the knobby parts of the vegetable, as mold tends to appear there. Since Jerusalem artichokes are less commonly purchased, it’s essential to ensure they haven’t been sitting on the grocery store shelves for too long.
You can typically find these marvelous tubers at larger grocery stores, often located alongside carrots and beets. For an expert guide on selecting Jerusalem artichokes, visit this link.
Roasted Goodness: Tasting Jerusalem Artichokes
Once roasted, Jerusalem artichokes become irresistibly delicious. At first bite, you might mistake their crispy texture for that of a potato. However, within seconds, the unique taste reveals itself. These tubers boast a delightful nuttiness, subtle sweetness, and a complexity that sets them apart from any potato.
No Peeling Required
One of the best things about Jerusalem artichokes is the ease of preparation. There’s no need to peel them! A thorough scrubbing is all that’s necessary to remove any dirt, focusing particularly on the knobs.
Unlocking Flavor: Cooked Is Better
While it’s true that you can eat Jerusalem artichokes raw, their flavor truly shines when they are cooked. Roasting, especially, brings out their natural sweetness and captivating aroma, resulting in a beautiful, golden-brown crispiness.
Simple Ingredients for Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes
To make this delightful side dish, you’ll need just a few ingredients. Toss the chopped Jerusalem artichokes in olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper, and spread them out on a spacious baking sheet. Avoid overcrowding the pan to ensure the pieces crisp up nicely, with no touching.
The Mystery Behind the Name
Contrary to what the name might suggest, Jerusalem artichokes have absolutely nothing to do with Jerusalem or artichokes. According to Wikipedia, Italian settlers in the United States referred to these tubers as “girasole,” the Italian word for sunflower, due to their botanical relationship with the garden sunflower. Over time, the name “girasole” might have evolved into “Jerusalem.”
In addition to their common name, Jerusalem artichokes are also known as “sunchokes” and “topinambour.” However, let’s be honest, who wants to attempt pronouncing that?
Discover More Culinary Delights
If you’ve enjoyed learning about Jerusalem artichokes and want to explore more recipes, here are a few suggestions:
- 9 Jerusalem artichoke recipes to try for dinner
- Crispy Jerusalem artichoke chips
- Roasted young potatoes with crispy skins
- Cajun roasted okra
- Roasted radishes
- Thyme roasted carrots
- Roasted cauliflower with parsley pesto
- Roasted peach and tomatillo salsa
- Gochujang roasted butternut squash (plus, learn about what is Gochujang)
If you found this recipe delightful, don’t forget to leave a rating below, and be sure to save it for later on Pinterest!
Tell me, have you ever tried Jerusalem artichokes? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Remember, for more delicious recipes and culinary inspiration, visit BDK Restaurant.