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creamed jerusalem artichokes

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Creamed Jerusalem artichokes

This dish is supposed to be made with potatoes: sliced thinly, accompanied with herbs and garlic, a bit of onion, a bit of leek and – wait for this – cooked in cream.
Literally. Boiled in copious quantity of double cream. Decadent or what?

I swapped the spuds for Jerusalem artichokes because I thought it would be ever so slightly lighter a dish (it wasn’t). Also, I had the ugly tubers sitting in the fridge, since I sometimes see them on a market stall, looking unloved (and I’m not surprised. the looks. the peeling of the buggers. the wind), and I decide to grab them in order to ‘do something interesting’ with them.

It doesn’t really happen because, let’s be honest, they aren’t that interesting. Pre-boil them and they disintegrate. Roast them raw and they’ll end up tough. This is just about the right approach – they will sort of start to cook in the cream and finish off in the oven.

Potatoes will be better in the way they absorb more of the cream – the artichokes were quite swimming in it still, after the nearly hour-long bake. So with hindsight I’d serve it as a starter perhaps, not as a side, and in small quantities.

creamed Jerusalem artichokes

Servings: 4Time: about an hour and a half

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 small leek, white and light green parts only, finely sliced
  • 2 shallots or small onions, finely diced
  • ½ bunch of fresh tarragon, leaves stripped and finely chopped
  • 300ml double cream
  • 500g Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and sliced 3mm thick
  • salt and ground white pepper
Artichokes, leek, tarragon


METHOD

Melt the butter in a large, wide pan. Add the garlic, leeks and onions and cook for about 10-15 minutes until softened. Add the artichoke slices, pour in the cream and add most of the tarragon, reserving a little for garnish. Stir everything well, bring it to the boil then turn the heat down a little – to a steady bubble.

Cook for about 10-15 minutes again, stirring occasionally, until the artichoke slices are barely tender. Season generously with salt and white pepper.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Brush a large pie or flan dish with a little butter. Drain the artichoke slices out of the cream with a slotted spoon, in batches, and transfer to the flan dish. Press them down to compact a little. In the unlikely event that most of the cream was drained off, add a couple of tablespoons to spread on the artichokes.

Artichoke gratin

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and turn the heat up to 190C/400F/gas 5. Cook for 10-15 more minutes until the dish browns on top. rest for a few minutes before serving.

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