Today my star is Jerusalem artichoke, called also sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or – a difficult word – topinambour, which is used in much of Europe. Although called artichoke it is, like potatoes, actually a tuber. Also the name Jerusalem is misleading, this vegetable has nothing to do with the city of Jerusalem. The name is derived from the Italian word for sunflower – girasole, as they are part of the sunflower family. The vegetable comes originally from North America and looks similar to ginger or curcuma root.
Jerusalems are made of a carbohydrate called inulin, instead of the tuber’s typical starch. Inulin gives it a sweet flavour that comes out with cooking. Moreover, as inulin minimally affects blood sugar, it is recommended for diabetics.
Unlike most other root vegetables, Jerusalems can be eaten raw (tastes like a nutty version of a crunchy radish) or cooked/baked (tastes similar to artichoke, the flesh gets nice and creamy). You do not need to peel them before using but remember to scrub them very well. I hope you will enjoy them in my winter salad.
- ½ kg Jerusalem artichokes, washed, scrubbed and sliced into thin disks
- 250 g portobello mushrooms, washed and sliced
- 1½ cups cooked whole grain green spelt (or quinoa, buckwheat)
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp whole grain mustard
- coconut oil
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- dried herbs (basil, oregano etc.)
- pink pepper
- sea salt
- Place onion and Jerusalem artichoke slices in an oiled frying pan and cook for about 10 - 15 minutes, on a medium heat, stirring occasionally until golden on both sides and just beginning to soften.
- Add mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until mushrooms become cooked thoroughly.
- Stir in herbs, green spelt, mustard and olive oil until well combined.
- Serve with toasted almond.