Tag Archives: side dish

Jerusalem Artichoke au jus with Pancetta, Garlic and Thyme

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 lemon

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

"Gratin Dauphinois"

Gratin Dauphinois with Gruyere.

Alt="Gratin Dauphinois"


2 lb /1 kg starchy potatoes

1 garlic clove peeled and sliced in half lengthwise

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

grating of nutmeg

Freshly ground pepper

1 C. cream

1/2 C. chicken stock

1 C.  grated Gruyere cheese


Preheat oven to 350F/180C.

Bring cream, chicken stock, nutmeg and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once it reaches a boil, turn off the heat and let it steep while you make the rest of the gratin.

Rub a baking dish with the cut garlic, then spread with the  butter.

Peel the potatoes and slice them thin.

Place half of the potatoes in the dish, then scatter over cheese.

Repeat for the second layer, finishing with the cheese.

Pour over the cream.

Cover with lid or foil, and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a further 10 until the top is bubbly and golden. Rest for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with some chives or parsley before serving.

Alt="Gratin Dauphinois"

Alt="Gratin Dauphinois"

Another great fast side dish would be Super quick pan roast Jacket Potatoes.


Beet Root Risotto


Serves 4

If you’re in the mood for some sensational color on your plate, I think Beet root Risotto is the way to go. For me, it just doesn’t get prettier than this.

This one is not as heavy as some Risottos since there is no cheese or butter in the rice but just on top.

The Beet gives the Risotto a certain earthy sweetness that I have balanced with Gorgonzola.

When the Gorgonzola melts it emulsifies with the rice creating a sweet and salty creaminess. I haven’t added any extra butter, because the fat in the cheese is enough for me, but you can add some at the end if you like.

*Vegan option below.


1 Large Beet, peeled and grated (use gloves)

1 1/2 C. Arborio rice

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 small red onion, peeled and diced fine

1 garlic clove, peeled and grated

1 tsp. Himalayan salt

1/2 C. dry white wine

4 C. organic Chicken or Vegetable stock

1 tsp. Fresh Thyme leafs, removed from stalks

2 Sage leafs, crumbled up (if dried) or very thinly sliced, Chiffonade.

7 oz. Gorgonzola to put on top.

*For Vegan version substitute for some Soy Yoghurt and chopped Pistachios.


Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a large pot. Glaze the onion for five minutes before adding the garlic. Now add the rice and salt, stir for a minute or so. Add the herbs and the white wine. Stir constantly throughout the entire procedure. It will take approximately 20 – 25 minutes. But the stirring is was creates the creaminess of the Risotto.

Now add one cup of the beetroot. Reserve the remainder for decoration.

Keep on stirring. Adding half a cup of stock as you go. Let all the liquid evaporate each time before adding more stock.


When the rice is al dente. Turn off the heat, add a bit more stock to keep it moist. Serve straight away, with a heaped spoonful of raw beet and Gorgonzola. Or Pistachios and some Soy Yoghurt for Vegans.

NOTE: If you don’t like Blue cheese you can substitute it with a good Parmigiano.

Fried Coconut rice with Pineapple, Coriander and Lime


The first time I tried rice with Pineapple was in London. My mom had invited me to go away for the weekend and we ended up going to London. I had never been there before and was fascinated by the amount of restaurants and different cuisines. We went to a very small Thai restaurant that we stumbled upon by accident and they served this dish. It was so good as was  everything else they served. I bought a Thai cook book straight away and could hardly wait to get home and start cooking from it. We even went to several markets to get all the ingredients, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to buy them in Spain where I was living at the time. I have tweeked the recipe over the years to a quick version.

It is just such a tropical dish, and whenever I make it,  my mind wonders off to a tropical island. It is really quick to make, and it looks as though you have spent hours in the kitchen. This is a great accompaniment to simple grilled fish or chicken.It is best if you cook the rice in the morning and let it cool completely before frying and adding the other ingredients. Or even make it the night before.

It will make any simple meal look spectacular. If you want to go the extra mile. Cut the pineapple in half, hollow it out and use it to serve the rice. I had already peeled mine when I thought of this, but it’s not to late for you. I’m just thinking that this is probably very good with grilled shrimp too. How about using leftovers as a salad the next day?


2 cups Jasmine rice

1 C. Water

1  12 oz. Can unsweetened coconut milk

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

1/2 C. fresh Pineapple, cut in to bite size pieces

1/4 C. fresh chopped coriander

1 red chili, deseeded and chopped fine, stalk removed.

1 tbsp. coconut oil

juice of half a lime


Rinse and drain rice in cold water. Place in a saucepan with water, coconut milk, and salt. Place the pot over high heat and, bring the liquid to a boil.

Stir and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cover the pot tightly with the lid. Continue cooking for 15 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and let stand 10 minutes, covered. Fluff with fork and let it cool.

Put a large frying pan on the heat and add the coconut oil. Add the chopped chili and stir it for about for 30 seconds and add the rice. You don’t want the chili to burn. Stir fry the rice for 5 minutes. Add the Pineapple chunks, and heat through for another 5 minutes. Just before serving add the chopped coriander, reserve some to sprinkle on top. Add the juice of half a lime. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve piping hot.