Sauté of Jerusalem Artichokes with Walnuts

The flavour of Jerusalem artichokes is wonderful and thinking of it only in terms of soup severely limits its potential. Boiled artichokes mashed with equal parts of potatoes are brilliant, but leave a few pieces in the purée to emphasize that you are eating a very superior mash. Here they are fried with walnuts to give a fabulous dish which goes well with any game bird or even chicken or turkey. When you have vegetarian guests, it stands up well as a dish in its own right, but double the amounts.

Ingredients

  • 800 g/ lb Jerusalem artichokes
  • salt
  • 5 tbsp olive oil (or 4 tbsp, plus 1 tbsp walnut oil)
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • pepper
  • 85 g/ 3 oz shelled walnuts, cut into quarters

Method

Peel the artichokes (a tedious chore best given to somebody else – this sounds like a lot of artichokes but you lose a lot in the peeling) and cut each into 2 or 3 pieces, depending on size. Blanch them in boiling salted water for 3–4 minutes, then drain.

Heat the oil(s) in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the artichoke pieces and sauté for 6–8 minutes. Scatter over the sugar, season with salt and pepper, then add the walnut quarters. Continue cooking for a further 3–5 minutes, until the artichokes are tender to a fork and golden brown.

Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

,