Thursday, June 28, 2007

J is for Jerusalem Artichokes

Rumour and confusion surround the Jerusalem Artichoke. Freddie was adamant he had already "done" artichokes. The thistle-like Globe Artichoke was the first vegetable he sampled for the Great Big Veg Challenge. But the Jerusalem Artichoke, as I explained to Freddie, is something entirely new. And it is badly named. It does not come from Jerusalem and it isn't an artichoke. It is actually the tuber from a type of sunflower. "It looks like a potato with warts." said Freddie. Apparently the Jerusalem Artichoke is used to insults. In the distant past, people turned away from this poor vegetable because they thought it resembled a leper's fingers.
We were more charitable. I peeled the artichokes and sliced them very thinly and doused them in a few tablespoons of olive oil and lemon juice. The lemon juice keeps them from turning brown. We tried them raw. They are crisp and taste a bit like a nutty potato. Freddie and Alex were unimpressed. But it is amazing what the mention of pizza can do to raise morale. I gave them a bowl of thin slices of jerusalem artichoke covered in a little olive oil,some grated parmesan and oregano and let them get on with creating a pizza. Freddie's score was ten out of ten.

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  1. Your blog is simply gorgeous. It is such an out of the box concept. Absolutely wonderful. You now have a new fan. I will definately post a link from my blog for you. My other parent friends are going to love you guys :) Keep up the smashing work guys!

  2. Squishy - Thank you so much. We have a lot of fun as a family creating it. Who thought vegetables could be this much fun?

  3. Charlotte, I'm not sure if you are aware, but these little tasty things create the worst wind known to mankind. Seriously. They are famous for it; utilsie with caution. That aside, they are stunning and I love them. Here is a recipe I did on MasterChef which they liked a lot, give it a go, replace the pigeon with your bird of choice if you like:

    Lovely pizza recipe by the way
    David x

  4. Now I want this pizza for breakfast. I love jerusalem artichokes, and these photos are sublime.

  5. Ten out of ten, again?! Where are those glum faces we came to know and love? I think we should turn this into the Great Big Liver Challenge, now that'll bring back the Freddie and Alexandra we miss!

  6. Great Big Veg challenge5:23 PM

    Alanna - the truth is I think
    (and I whisper this out of earshot of Freddie) that he has lost his suspicion of vegetables. He doesn't like everything and still loathes a lot of raw veg but we are finding that vegetable after vegetable he is really enjoying. We have been blogging now for about eight months and I suppose the slow and steady approach works.
    David - you are right on the unfortunate side effect of jerusalem artichokes!
    Figs, Olives, Wine - why not artichokes for breakfast...sounds good.

  7. I love this site! I got the url in a comment on my blog that also promotes healthy eating. What a great approach! Thanks. I will be linking to you.

  8. Oh yeah, if "K" is for KALE, try this:
    Kale Chips
    1 bunch of kale
    2 tbs. olive oil
    Kosher salt to taste

    Heat oven to 350. Wash kale, dry thoroughly in salad spinner, and tear into bite-sized pieces. Toss with olive oil. Rub the leaves to make sure each gets a coating of oil so they crisp up well. Oil a baking sheet as well. Place in a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle to taste with kosher salt. Cook in oven for about 12-15 minutes. Remove crisp pieces as they get done to allow the remaining kale chips to get even heat.

  9. And "L" for Lima Bean Hummus!

    Fantastic idea, thank you for creating this blog!

  10. Anonymous9:13 AM

    Do not eat too many of these - you have been warned!!!

  11. Bravo for taking the plunge with Jerusalem artichokes. Reminds me I need to plant some...

  12. Great Big Veg challenge3:37 PM

    expatriate chef - thank you for your kale ideas. We are going to try the Kale chips today.

    Ed - we took the plunge and paid the price. But they were delicious


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