Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Grilled Jerusalem Artichoke, Red Onion and Olives

From "The Whole Beast", page 19

No, I am not done with soups yet. There are two missing: the Pumpkin and Bacon soup (waiting till fall for Pumpkin season) and Cock-a-leekie (say that with a straight face), which calls for brisket, which needs to be brined for at least 10 days. So this Thursday or Friday it's 10 days are up.
Jerusalem artichoke, which is not originally from Jerusalem (anyone know the origin of this tuber?), and is not even close to being an artichoke, was an ingredient I had never worked with before. I have had it in soups and as chips, but never grilled. They taste and smell very similar to an artichoke (hence it's name, I know, but it should be noted for those who have never seen or eaten it), but are closer to a potato I would say.

I cannot overstate the deliciousness of this salad, and I am not a huge salad fan. I eat it because I have to and I resent their existence for that. I always feel like I am eating rabbit food.
This is a well though out combination of ingredients and temperatures that is beyond words. The sweetness and heartiness of the roasted onions, the nuttiness of the grilled Jerusalem artichokes, the bite of the watercress, the brine of the olives, and, as F.H. puts it"...and parsley (parsley acts as a great marrier of disparate parts in a salad, the dating agency of the salad world). The dressing is a very straightforward vinaigrette, doing its job to tie it all in and add some acidity and richness. I don't think I did so bad with this salad. Again, the recipes are spot on, except I would have mentioned that the grilled Jerusalem artichokes should be cut down to bite size pieces, since they can be quite long, and you don't want to eat your salad with a knife.

1 comment:

  1. According to Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book (a worthy addition to any cook's bookshelf), Jerusalem artichokes were grown in North America by the Indians at Nausett Harbour, Cape Codd, and discovered by the French in 1605. They are a relative of the sunflower, and have flower heads that twist with the sun - hence "girasol artichoke". "Jerusalem" is a mispronounciation that has stuck.