How To Plant Jerusalem Artichokes Anywhere
If you haven’t eaten Jerusalem artichokes before, try them before you plant because some people have trouble digesting them. However, if you’re a fan, they are one of the easiest crops to grow
Plant the tubers when the ground is workable in February or March, spacing them 10cm (4in) deep and 30cm (12in) apart. They love a rich but well-drained soil and sunny site, but they will grow in poorer dry, slightly shady conditions
too. The harvest will be smaller but they’re so productive this isn’t really a problem. Consequently, they’re a useful crop for eking out a harvest from less-productive garden areas. Plants can reach 2m (6½ft), topped in autumn by small yellow sunflowers. Cut them down to 15cm (6in) once the plants have died to stop them toppling in gales and exposing the roots, then dig up the tubers as you need them. Freezing weather doesn’t seem to bother them – although it will stop you digging them out! Make this a thorough job since anything left behind will grow next year. Replant one large tuber at the site of each plant and you’ll be ready for the following growing season.
OVEN-ROASTED JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE
This warming wintry side dish will serve 4 people and is so delicious!
Jerusalem artichokes can cause unwanted digestive side effects (speaking plainly, a lot of wind for some people) so have a small portion the ﬁrst time you try them!
You will need:
➤ Olive oil
➤ 1kg (2lb 3oz) Jerusalem artichokes
➤ Sea salt and pepper
➤ 6 rashers bacon
➤ 4 mild chillies
➤ 2 lemons, halved
➤ Parmesan grated
➤ 1 small bunch of parsley
➤ Method: #1. Place a roasting tray with a big glug of olive oil into the oven at 200C (180C fan/gas mark 6).
#2. Wash and scrub the Jerusalem artichokes and cut into small salad potato-sized lumps. Parboil for 5 minutes so they barely begin to soften.
#3.Tip the tubers into the hot roasting tray along with a good grind of salt and pepper, the bacon rashers and chillies. Squeeze over the lemon halves and add to the tin.
#4. Roast for 30 minutes, shake to spread the warmth of the chillies around then return to the oven for a further 15 minutes, increasing the temperature to 220C (200C fan/gas mark 7) to make everything crisp around the edges. If the bacon is colouring too fast, remove and return to the pan at the end. The roots should be soft, sweet, gooey and delicious.
#5. To serve, grate over a handful of parmesan and scatter over some chopped parsley.