Jerusalem artichokes

which are not artichokes at all, but more like a tuber-like root which grows at the base of very large sunflowers (somewhere I read that the name arose as a corruption of ‘girasol artichoke’ — i.e. sunflower artichoke; incidentally, I think are marketted in the US as sunchokes).

I just got the photos of our massive crop of these from my camera, so time to record for posterity.

Planted in mid-Autumn 2016 — http://www.carlhiggs.com/2016/05/miscellanies/ — 10 months later in March 2017 at the end of Summer these were looking quite grand:

— see the 12 foot tall thing in the background?!! Crazy!

Anyway, we had a couple of patches of these beasties (apparently once planted, you will never get rid of them); one downside is they do suck the light from other things in the garden!

Two months later in May they were starting to look a much more dead-ish looking bundle of sticks, and so it seemed like last chance to harvest these fellas. The photos below show some of this harvesting, and the making of a fermented jerusalem artichoke pickle I found a recipe for somewhere now forgotten. Anyway, the pickle is quite tasty and so are the artichokes — but there is only so many of these you can eat in any one sitting, so we still (5 months later, in October) have a stack in a large bag in our fridge as well as a container of roasted ones in the fridge in case of emergency.

We pickled some using the approach described here: https://agardenerstable.com/2014/02/24/taking-the-wind-out-of-jerusalem-artichokes/

(the chillies and horseradish are ours too — sadly, shortly after this a strong wind knocked our favourite chilli plant from its sunny perch onto the ground; the plant came out of its pot and it hasn’t yet recovered… hopefully now the weather is getting warmer it will rebound… so lovely having fresh chilli!)

Some time later, the pickled artichokes looked like this (and tasted a bit like kimchi!):

Below are some pictures I took of some of the meals we used them in — the use of copious garlic and turmeric was an attempt to aid digestion, as the jerusalem artichoke’s special power is a kind of indigestible fibre (inulin) — gut bacteria love this, and so “bloat” is an issue. I found if you have in not so large amounts (e.g. just throw a few in a stir fry) it’s not really a problem though; perhaps the pickling and spices help too.