Glossary

Jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke

Pronounce it: jer-oo-sa-lem ar-tee-choke

This vegetable is not truly an artichoke but a variety of sunflower with a lumpy, brown-skinned tuber that often resembles a ginger root. Contrary to what the name implies, this vegetable has nothing to do with Jerusalem but is derived instead from the Italian word for sunflower, girasole.

The white flesh of this vegetable is nutty, sweet and crunchy and is a good source of iron.

Availability

At their best from November to March.

Choose the best

Although Jerusalem artichoke's knobbly by nature, look for less knobs to save waste when peeling.

Skins should be pale brown without any dark or soft patches and the artichokes should look firm and fresh not soft or wrinkled.

Prepare it

The artichoke flesh will discolour if exposed to air so place the peeled vegetable in a bowl of acidulated water until ready to cook. Because they are so knobbly it is easier to peel artichokes after boiling.

Store it

If they are stored in a cool and dark place they will keep well for up to 10 days.

Cook it

Jerusalem artichokes can be cooked in much the same way as potatoes or parsnips and are excellent roasted, sautéed or dipped in batter and fried, or puréed to make a delicious soup.

Alternatives

Try salsify, parsnip or medium potato.