Jerusalem artichokes have a texture similar to potato but have a nutty, fragrant & herbal flavour (similar to Cardoon).
The skin and flesh can be eaten. Scrub them properly to get rid of any soil. Soaking in cold water for half an hour before scrubbing will help loosen any dirt.
They can be made into soups and purees or roasted (basically cooked in any way a potato can be). Try them roasted with garlic or served with a herby sauce (e.g. Pesto or Salsa Verde). Or just salt & pepper- their flavour is tasty on its own.
This recipe is for an ‘open’ lasagne with a chestnut sauce, kale and a balsamic reduction.
· Around 300g of Jerusalem artichokes
· 6 lasagne sheets (dry or fresh). Or any pasta will do.
· 200g roasted and peeled chestnuts (can be found in most large supermarkets but are much cheaper in the snack aisle of some Chinese supermarkets)
· Balsamic vinegar
· Olive oil
· Vegetable oil
· Milk/plant milk or cream (optional)
· Butter or vegan butter (optional)
· Kale (enough for 2 people, about 100g)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
2. Wash the Jerusalem artichokes well. Cut into halves or quarters (leaving really small ones whole) so they are roughly the same size. Drizzle with vegetable oil and add salt & pepper. Roast in the oven for around 30 minutes or until brown and crispy.
3. Alternatively, the Jerusalem artichokes can be steamed until just soft. Allow to cool slightly then fry on both sides in a frying pan in a little vegetable oil or olive oil for cooking. This way there will be an even crispiness (it’s quicker too).
4. For the chestnuts, place in a small saucepan and cover with water (around 500mL). Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the chestnuts, reserving the water. Blend the warm chestnuts in a food processor or with a hand blender. Keep blending whilst slowly add some of the cooking water to form a smooth, thick paste. Add plenty of black pepper but not salt. Keep in a saucepan for later.
5. Once the Jerusalem artichokes and chestnuts are ready, turn the oven to a low heat (just to keep warm) and start the kale, balsamic and pasta.
6. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil (1tbsp per 1L of water). Add the kale and cook for a few seconds until it turns bright green. Remove the kale using tongues or a sieve.
7. Spread the drained kale on a baking tray and keep warm in the oven (this will also dry it out slightly) with the Jerusalem artichokes.
8. Using the water from the kale, add 6 sheets of lasagne (or pasta of choice). Cook for 6-8minutes until soft. If using lasagne sheets, it will need stirring and the sheets pulling apart occasionally.
9. Meanwhile, add a splash of balsamic vinegar (around 50ml) to a small, non-stick frying pan and cook on a medium heat while the pasta cooks. It should thicken and coat the back of spoon.
10. Warm the chestnut puree in it’s pan and ladle in a little of the pasta water to loosen it and also season it. Taste and add more salt if needed but it probably won’t be necessary. If using, add a little cream or milk (dairy or vegan) for a little extra creaminess.
11. Drain the pasta. Return to the dry pan and drizzle with a little olive oil or melted butter
12. To finish the dish, layer lasagne sheets, kale and crispy Jerusalem artichokes. Serve with the chestnut sauce and a little balsamic reduction.