|there's almost a cosmic quality in this shot of the jerusalem artichokes, don't you think?|
I live in a two-bedroom apartment. I rent. I share. Over the past few years, I've had people from different walks of life come in and out of this cosy apartment, while I remain.
When I came across Jerusalem artichokes (also known as sunchokes, sunroots, earth apples or topinambours) sometime ago, I thought about what I could do with them, and one of the first things that popped into my mind was to emulate the German dish, Bratkartoffeln, which I experienced for the first time, thanks to my Bavarian housemate, Max, back in 2009. Bratkartoffeln's star ingredient is the humble potato, of course, but I had a feeling that Jerusalem artichokes, with a similar taste profile, would be a brilliant swap... and it was.
So here's my recipe for pan-fried Jerusalem artichokes, loosely based on that delicious, delicious Bratkartoffeln.
|sunchokes or jerusalem artichokes, cooked bratkartoffeln style. oh yeah!|
pan-fried jerusalem artichokes, bratkartoffeln style
450g jerusalem artichokes / sunchokes (1 lb)
1 tablespoon oil
120g bacon (4 ounces, or approximately 4 slices) - may be omitted to make this vegetarian or vegan-friendly
1 onion (150g / 1/3 pound)
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
Peel Jerusalem artichokes, then cut into slices of approximately 0.5cm / 1/5 inch thick.
Warm up some oil over medium heat. Fry bacon and onion together for 5 minutes. Add garlic and Jerusalem artichokes and fry for about 10 minutes, depending on how you like the texture of your Jerusalem artichokes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you're using bacon, additional salt is probably not required.
If you're going with the Bratkartoffeln way, toss through some chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (also known as continental or Italian parsley). As I didn't have any parsley, I decided to serve my pan-fried Jerusalem artichokes on a bed of mixed fresh salad leaves (mostly baby spinach) with a dollop of unsweetened natural yoghurt. I imagine sour cream or goat cheese would also be great, or you can give it a dash of lemon juice or sumac for a dairy-free, vegan option if you like a bit of acidity.
|this sunchoke bratkartoffeln can be a satisfying meal in itself.|
Simon devoured his in, like, two minutes - just goes to show how you can't go wrong with the awesomeness of Bratkartoffeln. I wasn't too far behind.
Oh, and if I've now got you pondering the idea of using Jerusalem artichokes - you can find them in the markets around wintertime, give or take a little (I got mine weeks ago, which was, by then, towards the end of their Australian season, but Northern Hemisphere friends should be seeing them emerge right about now). Here are our thoughts on their taste and texture. When raw, their fresh crispness remind me of water chestnuts, while Simon likens them to a fusion of apple-potato, and they can go well in a salad. When cooked, like in this pan-fried dish, they develop a starchier quality, venturing into comfort food territory. They're good either way with their gentle flavour, experiment and see what you like!
P.S. Another photo, basically the first one in this post, but cropped to highlight one of the Jerusalem artichokes, which Simon reckon looks like a wombat. By golly, it does!
|you have to love a root vegetable that looks like a wombat.|