Let’s talk about the Jerusalem Artichoke. This knobby little tuber with the resemblance of ginger is an (underestimated) root vegetable.
Jerusalem Artichokes are packed with inulin, a long chain of fructose molecules that us humans have a hard time breaking down. So that makes it a fibre rather than a starch and has hardly any effect on blood sugar levels. Inulin is also a prebiotic that stimulates the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract that in turn aids digestion and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol.
There has been some controversy lately on the internet about this vegetable whether it’s bad for the tummy, or if it may cause gas or some intolerance. I have to say that I have never had any trouble. Some peope say it’s because of the skin so just peel them to be save.
And although the side effects such as gas only occurs in a small percentage of people, it’s best to know whether you’re one of those people before serving them at your next dinner party. Just try a few and see. They are really worth it.
They are also very healthy, with high fibre, high potassium, good for lowering cholesterol and they boost the immune system. So let’s stay positive and give them a change. They have a delicious nutty flavour and also really do have an artichoke flavour. They are velvety soft on the inside, perfect for fall dishes.
1 lb. Jerusalem Artichoke
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. Olive Oil
2 tsp. very good quality Beef Broth Concentrate
1/4 C. hot water
2 oz. chopped Pancetta
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped fine
a few sprigs of thyme
1 tsp. Thyme leafs for decorating
Halve the lemon, squeeze out the juice and put the juice into a bowl with plenty of cold water. Peel the jerusalem artichokes, cut away the ends, then cut into two if very long. then drop them into the lemon water to stop them from discolouring.
Heat the oil and half the butter in a large sauté pan or deep frying pan over a medium heat. Drain the jerusalem artichokes, dry them well, add to the pan. Fry them for 5 minutes until they get a bit golden brown. Add the stock concentrate, move the pan around very gently and add the water, not all at once, safe some for later. Tuck in the thyme sprigs. Partially cover the pan with a lid and leave to cook for 15 minutes until just tender. After ten minutes check and see if you need to add water. Move the jerusalem artichoke around gently so they all get covered in the jus. Be careful not to break the topinambur since they are quite fragile. By the end of cooking the liquid should have evaporated and you should be left with a sticky kind of coating on the chokes.
In an other large frying pan add the rest of the butter and cook the pancetta until just turning golden. Add the garlic and leave to cook for a few seconds. Add to the pan of Jeruslaem Artichokes and gently toss everything together. Sprinkle over the remaining thyme leafs.
Not quite what you’re looking for? How about Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Maple glazed Hazelnuts and Bacon