Jerusalem artichokes are one of those wonderful vegetables that often get passed by at the grocery store because they are so, well, weird looking. They just aren't the kind of food that you say, wow, that looks delicious, the way a perfect cauliflower or a glistening purple eggplant might do. They have a fabulous nutty flavour that I find especially welcome at this time of the year. One of my all-time favourite soups is made with Jerusalem artichokes.
This is a very simple recipe that really delivers on flavour. The nuttiness of the artichokes against the tartness of the lemons and the clean, grassy flavour of the parsley is irrisistable. The recipe calls for orecchiette which is the pasta shaped like little ears, but really any small pasta that doesn't require a real sauce would do.
Jerusalem Artichoke Orecchiette
12 oz dried or fresh orecchiette
1-2 lbs firm Jerusalem artichokes
Juice of 2-3 lemons
1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped finely
Pat of butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Scrub Jerusalem artichokes carefully, removing any grit. Slice them thinly.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
3. Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan or dutch oven, bring a bit of olive oil and butter to a sizzle. Add artichokes and sauté for about 10 - 15 minutes until they have softened and are starting to crisp a bit.
3. Cook pasta per packaging instructions until just past al dente. Remove and drain pasta, then toss with the sauteed artichokes.
4. Add parsley to the artichokes and pasta. Add juice of 2 or three lemons, a good shake of salt and pepper, and a a bit of olive oil. Toss together to coat.