Garlic and Bay Jerusalem Artichokes

by Patricia Eddy on January 19, 2010

Garlic and Bay Sunchokes

Every other recipe I’ve tried with Jerusalem Artichokes always took me back more years than I care to admit when my cousin, Dan, a scant year or so younger then me, happily bounded in from the backyard with a brown, sloppy mud pie just for me. It’s no wonder we’ve never really been close. But despite my past feelings on Jerusalem artichokes, I keep trying new recipesbecause at this point, the number of foods I don’t like number less than ten. If I can find a beet recipe, and even a zucchini preparation that makes my mouth water, then surely there’s a Jerusalem artichoke recipe that I’ll at least tolerate.

Well, finally, I’ve found one that I not only tolerate, but actively crave. It comes by way of the exceedingly yummy British food guru, Jamie Oliver. He maintains that there are two main flavors that turn Jerusalem Artichokes into a tuber that doesn’t sit idly by while potatoes and rutabagas hog the spotlight. I’m talking about bay and garlic. Adding these two flavors to Jerusalem artichokes turns these little brown knots into opera singers, announcing their presence on your winter table with a chorus that ends with a high C.

You can make this dish two ways. The original recipe calls for sunchoke cubes, but I’ve also successfully tried it with sunchoke chips. The chips are a little harder to work with, but they get a lot crispier than the cubes and believe me when I say that is a VERY.GOOD.THING.

Garlic and Bay Jerusalem Artichokes, lightly adatped from Jamie Oliver

  • 1 lb Jerusalem Artichokes, peeled and either cubed or sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1-2 bay leaves, preferably fresh
  • 1-2 Tbsp butter, oil, or lard
  • Splash of white wine (optional)

    You can use sunchoke cubes or slices

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium to medium high heat.
  2. Add the Jerusalem artichokes and saute until starting to brown on all sides. (5 minutes for slices, 8 minutes for cubes).
  3. Toss in the garlic and bay leaf (or leaves) and turn the heat down to medium, covering the pan. Cook for 5 minutes for slices, 8 minutes for cubes).
  4. Turn the heat up to medium-high once more, remove the lid, and give the whole dish constant stirring for another 2-3 minutes to crisp everything up once more.
  5. Remove the bay leaf (or leaves) and serve with a slotted spoon to drain of any excess oil.

Notes: Jerusalem artichokes, also known as sunchokes, are sweet, meaty, and earthy. They’re like a soft, tender, potato, but with a definite artichoke flavor when cooked properly. I loved the sunchoke chips when cooked with the bay and garlic. The edges were crispy and the chip practically melted on my tongue as I ate. The chunks evoked memories of summer artichoke hearts, cooked until the consistency of butter and sprinkled with salt. The garlic chips are like little crispy treasures among the richness of the sunchokes. They brown and crisp during the last few moments of cooking and when you bite into them, they release a flood of garlic flavor.  This dish is now a staple on our winter table.

Crispy crunchy

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Julie January 19, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Hey, snappy writing and tempting recipe! (It’s not your fault sunchokes are impossible to make beautiful.) I can’t wait to try this recipe.

Sue Mosher January 19, 2010 at 6:29 pm

I have to ask: What are the “less than ten” foods you don’t like?

Patricia Eddy January 19, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Ha! Fair question.
1. Bitter melon
2. Sea Urchin
3. Arugula
4. Cantelope
5. Honeydew
6. Milk

I’m not thrilled by cauliflower, but I’ll eat it. Same with caviar and sardines/anchovies. I still have a hard time saying I like summer squash, but I’ve had it prepared well, so I’m not putting it on the list any longer.

Jenny January 20, 2010 at 10:39 am

What a great idea! Our sunchoke barrel rests comfortably next to our giant bay tree, and I never thought to put them together except in soup. I’m going out there with a shovel to see what I can find for supper.

And that’s quite a list of less than ten. I’m trying to figure out what those things have in common, if there’s a texture thing, an inherent muskiness…hmm.

Kathryn January 21, 2010 at 11:13 am

Thank you for sharing this tantalizing recipe! I’ve been meaning to try these things for some time and anything from Jamie O. is a winner in my book. I’ve also been skeptical about using Bay (perhaps because I stereotype them as “overly medicinal”) – but will definitely give this a try.
.-= Kathryn´s last blog ..Curiosity, Black Beans & Brownies =-.

Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener January 25, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Patricia – thanks for posting the recipe from Oliver. simple with bold favors, yes that should work. I definitively want to try this as we have LOTS of sunchokes.
.-= Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener´s last blog ..Stuck! =-.

Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener February 6, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Reporting on trying the recipe. A keeper. and very little side effects too – either the recipe does wonder or the cold weather has help to transform some of the inulin into sugars…

No matter, it’s going to become a staple of the winter kitchen. and yes, I am with you: slices not cubes. More opportunities for crispness (also takes a lot less time and generates less waste)
.-= Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener´s last blog ..Post Card from Up the Hollow =-.

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