Monday, 8 December 2014

Jerusalem Artichoke First Harvest

Back in May I planted a late crop of Jerusalem Artichokes. I didn't expect much from them as it was about a month late to get them in the ground and they were just brought off eBay. 
They grew well through the summer and soon established themselves. I did water them a few times with my home made comfrey feed during a dry spell but other than that I left them alone and let our brilliant summer take care of them. 
Good sized tubers. Some as big as a good sized potato
 Last night I dug some up to have with our Sunday roast. I was very pleased with the amount we've got. I dug up one plant and it was far more than we needed, most of the tubers were huge as well which is always a bonus. 
As Cut flowers in September - an added bonus.
Roasted they are deliciously creamy with a beautiful flavour, I really do enjoy them and it was nice to have them again as I've not grown them since we moved here (the last ones rotted in the ground as I picked a wet spot before I knew my garden very well). Also I don't think that there are many more "ill affects" than I usually have and I think that it's a shame they have a reputation as "fartichokes" as I'm sure it puts people off these tasty vegetables. I also prefer their other name of Sunchokes as I think this sells them a little better!
How does everyone else use this veg? I've read that they make a nice soup so I might try that at some point. Anyone got any recipes they'd recommend?

38 comments:

  1. For us, artichokes are no go, after having had our one and only meal from them and suffered the most horrendous wind problems which had us buckled over with pain! But we do grow lots of them for the pigs and bees and also as for the attractiveness of their late summer blossom, so they do have a place here, but not as a vegetable.

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    1. Oh dear that doesn't sound good. I just gave some to a friend today so I hope they don't do the same to her! I like the fact you still use them though, even if it gives you farty pigs!

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  2. There are some good Jerusalem artichoke recipes on the web, Kev. Jamie Oliver makes a salad with roasted artichokes and bacon.

    Haven't grown them for several years. They are supposed to make a good wind break (no pun intended) and protect tender growing crops. Believe they are related to the Sunflower. Never thought of buying the tubers from Ebay - good idea!

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    1. You normally can't go wrong with a Jamie recipe, we have nearly all his books.
      EBay seemed to be the cheapest place and I needed them fast as I'd forgotten about them! When you order from Suttons it can take weeks to come through. they are related to the sunflower and that's where the "sunchokes" name comes from. The flowers are like mini sunflowers.

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  3. received wisdom says that to avoid the socially embarrassing side effects, peel them, boil 'em for 2mins, drain and rinse, boil again for 10minsdrain and rinse and then cook them any way you like.

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    1. Embarrassing!?! I could do he national anthem! No seriously it doesn't seem to affect me too bad (I might have been accused of being a little windy anyway...). We do cook ours for quite a while though so maybe thats why it is. If I try another recipe maybe I'll try your method though, thanks.

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  4. gratin is nice apparently, the Mr likes that. They make exceptional chips. I like them mixed with celeriac boiled and then mashed with butter, breadcrumbs mixed with crushed cheap rice crispies. dot with butter and baked.

    The flowers are lovely

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    1. i haev a few celeriac plants growing for the first time so I think one will have to go to make what you describe - it sounds good!

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  5. I've heard that cooking them low and slow eases their "explosiveness."

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    1. so far we've only ever had them roasted so we can still light a match in the room safly!

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  6. I had some, but they never grew THAT big. I was told that once you have them you can never get rid of them, but turns out that if you have enough hot dry days, they never grow back :( I need to get some more, because I did like them, I'll just make sure to water them this time!

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    1. These do seem to be big this year. It has been one of the best years for growing though. I have the opposite problem to you though, mind didn't grow when they rotted in the ground due to too much water (not from me from the sky though!)!

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  7. We have three large clumps of them about twelve foot by eight foot and at least ten foot tall, my husband now considers them a weed! We used to feed them to the goats when we had goats. As you say the flowers are a bonus harvest.
    I par boil and slice them and put them in a gratin with celeriac and potato or in a root vegetable slice (in pastry)
    If anybody wants any tubers I will happily send you some.
    PS Pheasants are suppose to like them, so perhaps you could take some with you to the shoot Kev !.

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    1. like fig trees they need to be contained. the flowers are gorgeous. they taste lovely with celeriac dont they. a question, do you add salt seasoning? I am wondering if like with celery if I shouldnt add it? only asking as I dont know many people who grow and cook them

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    2. Sol
      In the dishes I have mentioned, no I don't use salt. if I roast them with other veg I use salt.
      Why shouldn't you use salt with celery?

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    3. Gill, If I have to take bate to lure pheasants to me I best give up before I start! I wish I'd known you had so many I wouldn't have brought them off ebay if I had known!
      Sol I've never heard this don't add salt to celery either. Although when I'm cooking it's don't add celery!

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    4. celery is naturally salty in taste. it is good for people who have high blood pressure to use this instead of salt in meals. this also mean it is better for people who have kidney problems and gout

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    5. I didn't know that. Still not a celery fan! I do like salt though...

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    6. Celery has lots of good properties. if you make anything that is cooked slow, think Italian use soffrito. Sue at Our new life in the Country chops all of hers in one go and freezes it. I think she calls it veg mash...

      http://ournewlifeinthecountry.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=celery+carrot

      good for hiding veg in spaghetti sauce, chilli etc

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  8. I have never grown these. I want to! They are on the list! The side effects mentioned are news to me as well. I never heard that. LOL
    I should check ebay as the mail order catalogs seem quite proud of the starts. I was curious do you have a tutorial on your site for grafting trees? I am wanting to learn how to graft! Didn't you graft all those apple trees yourself?

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    1. Your list of things to grow is as big as mine - but I think you've grown far more than I have!
      I did graft about 150 trees this year and 30 last year. I've some information on it here but brought a book from 1945 that had the best information on it. What's your email? I'll scan you in a few pages and send it over to you.

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    2. sprig2@aol.com
      Much appreciated... did most of your grafts take? yes my list of stuff to grow is never ending! Gardening is without a doubt my favorite thing in the world to be doing! When someone ask my DH how I am. He says "as long as she is covered in dirt she is happy". :o)

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    3. To answer your question :O), we have 27 acres.
      Oh by the way your blogger comments are set to "no reply" so no one can email back direct. You may know this but thought I would mention it :O). So I scootled over here an answered.

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  9. We always just scrubbed them and sliced them thinly and ate them raw on salads or by themselves. They are crisp and crunchy, kind of like water chestnuts.

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    1. I'll have to try them like this as well, I like the water chestnuts in a chinese but I'm always too tight to buy a tin, this might be a good substitute.

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    2. I love water chestnuts, will for sure remember this!

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    3. I was looking at putting in a bed of Chinese artichokes next year as they're meant to be a good substitute as well.

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  10. Nothing to do with artichokes, but tell your good lady to check out a site called Teacherspayteachers.com too. It's mostly American-centric, but there's lots of free stuff on there too. She might find something useful.

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    1. I'll tell her to have a look - thanks!

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  11. I thought about growing some this last year but instead went with Sweet Potatoes. I will have to give em a try soon though since you wrote about them, they sound interesting.

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    1. They're so low maintenance even if they were grown to feed animals they'd be worth it. They can spread though so be careful!

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  12. We cook them most ways mentioned above and eat them raw. They seem to be at their most gassy when roasted. Hardly ever add salt to anything.

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    1. It's funny as one of the comments above said to roast them low and slow! We'll have to try them raw and see what the results are like.

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  13. Hi Kev, we grew Jerusalem Artichokes for the first time a couple of years ago and loved the. I made soup, and also boiled them, drained them, laid them in a ceramic roaster, covered with cream and parsley, then grated cheeses over the top and baked until the cheese bubbled and melted. Belting! And no discernible after effects ...... that we're admitting to!

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  14. If you use some of the herb Savory in the finished dish, you will find you are eating artichokes instead of 'fartichokes'. A tip I picked up from Alys Fowler.

    I love the flowers and the ease of growing artichokes, I need to find the perfect position for them here once I start planting in earnest, because if you find the right spot you only have to plant once, there are always a couple of tubers that get missed and supply you with more yummy goodness the following year.

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  15. I once bought a few rounded artichokes from an Asian shop, which I planted thinking they would produce nice rounded tubers that would be easily peelable. They grew just like the usual ones; all knobbly.

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