FFWD – Jerusalem Artichokes, Two Ways

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This week’s post tackles two French Fridays assignments, because when Jerusalem artichokes first showed up in the rotation last month, there were none to be found in Vancouver markets. I prefer the name sunchokes for these, as it’s a bit less confusing than Jerusalem artichokes, which are neither native to the Middle East nor related to artichokes. They’re actually native to the Americas – a root vegetable from a plant in the sunflower family, with a flavour that hints at artichokes. Sunchokes are sought after by chefs, but they’re not for everyone. Some folks experience a bit of gastric distress when they eat them (we found out this week that my Dad’s one of them), so they’ve earned a rather notorious nickname.

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Parsley Coulis

This week’s dish was a puréed soup, much like a potato soup, with salty leek and garlic notes against the delicate artichoke flavour of the sunchokes. I substituted vegetable stock for chicken stock, but otherwise followed the recipe, which you can find here. I packed up half the soup for my parents and the flavours were a hit for all of us.

The parsley coulis caused a bit of consternation in the group, because a number of us couldn’t get the parsley past a pesto texture. I didn’t mind that texture at all in this soup. The parsley also finishes the soup perfectly.

Since sunchokes stick around in the market until almost spring, we’ll be revisiting this soup all winter.

Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes with Garlic

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I bought more sunchokes than I needed for the soup so that I could roast some, too. We ended up having them as a snack last night and enjoyed them, though I’d used too small a pan and they didn’t crisp up as much as I would have liked them to have done. The slivers of garlic were amazing with the sunchokes and on their own – they made this dish. However, I think that next time I roast sunchokes, I’ll do as Sanya did and mix them in with potatoes or other root vegetables. I think they’d be a nicer element in a mix than they were on their own.

Another unusual vegetable demystified, thanks to Around My French Table.

Find links to the rest of the French Fridays crew’s posts on this week’s recipe here: Jerusalem Artichoke Soup with Parsley Coulis. Then, see how everyone fared with the Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes with Garlic.