Jerusalem Artichokes: Another Tasty Tuber
Jerusalem artichokes are neither from Jerusalem nor are they artichokes. So, what are they?
Jerusalem artichokes are neither from Jerusalem nor are they artichokes. These knobby-looking North American natives (Helianthus tuberosus) are a species of the sunflower genus. When cooked briefly until just tender, they have a creamy texture and taste like a cross between potatoes and artichokes. Our tasters preferred them cooked longer until they were softer, with the consistency of a baked sweet potato. The longer cooking time also made them sweeter, with a deeper artichoke-like flavor. We recommend peeling Jerusalem artichokes before cooking them to remove their fibrous skin. When shopping for them, look for those that are the least knobby. They will be the easiest to peel.
HOW TO COOK THEM: Peel and cut 1 pound Jerusalem artichokes into 2- to 3-inch pieces. Cook in large saucepan over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of butter until browned. Season with salt and pepper, then add sprig of thyme and enough water to cover artichokes halfway. Cover saucepan tightly and simmer until artichokes are softened, about 25 minutes. Remove lid and cook until sauce reduces to glazy consistency. Discard thyme sprig and serve.