This week’s box Jerusalem artichokes from Down the Road Farm, a small eco friendly farm run by Cabe in Lapoinya, near Wynyard. Jerusalem artichokes behave quite differently from the more common types of root vegetable (potatoes and taproots such as carrots) – you won’t be able to crisp them up like a potato, but they also tend not to hold their shape when cooked like a carrot. It’s not strictly essential to peel them (thankfully, as this is not easy), but a warning: the compound that causes flatulence in them is concentrated in the skin so in some cases it may be best to do so.
Their flavour is nutty and rich and is ideal for soups – try pairing with ingredients like mushrooms and nutmeg – but they can also be used thinly sliced in a stir-fry, reminiscent of water chestnuts. The simplest thing to do with them is to just scrub them, toss in olive oil and salt, then roast at high heat til tender – but cut them in half or smaller before you do as they can explode in the oven!