Jerusalem artichokes are part of the sunflower family and are sometimes called sunroot or earth apples, because they are the tubers of the plant and grow underground. They are completely different from globe artichokes, which come from the thistle family. Jerusalem artichokes can be used in many different ways but in general they’re used in the same way as potatoes.

Official tasting notes by New Covent Garden Market, the UK’s leading wholesale fruit and vegetable market

Properties: The tubers of the Jerusalem artichoke are elongated and uneven and vaguely resemble ginger root, with a crisp texture when raw.

Usage: Similar to water chestnuts in taste, the traditional use of the tuber is as a gourmet vegetable. The white flesh is nutty, sweet and crunchy and can be roasted, sautéed or dipped in batter and fried, or puréed to make a delicious soup.

Notes: Skins should be pale brown without any dark or soft patches and the artichokes should look firm and fresh not soft or wrinkled.

1. Jerusalem artichoke orzotto with parsley and peanut pesto This orzotto recipe is packed with hidden delights – nuggets of goat’s cheese, crispy Jerualem artichoke skins and a parsley and peanut pesto. Make the pesto the day before to save time and allow the flavours to develop.

2. Truffled treat This indulgent truffle-infused brie recipe is best started a day ahead of serving to allow the brie time to absorb the earthy flavours of truffle. In fact, by preparing most of the components in advance, these canapés can be put together very quickly.

3. Go Mezze Try using Jerusalem artichokes in a Lebanese harra-inspired dish, served as a starter or mezze. Dice the artichokes, slice a red pepper, and sauté in sunflower oil with onion, garlic, chilli powder, cayenne pepper, ground coriander and cilantro until crisp and browned. Season with salt, pepper and lime juice and serve with spiced rice or alongside other small plates.

4. Curry favour Jerusalem artichokes folded into a dry Indian masala make a wonderfully crunchy and healthy Indian side dish. Keep the masala dry and pungent to infuse lots of spice into the dish while keeping it light on calories. It’s important to use cumin and the asafoetida not only for flavour but also to balance the digestive properties of this vegetable.

5. Spectacular salad Try making an artichoke salad using both Jerusalem artichokes and crones with mushrooms, walnuts and a walnut dressing.

Recipes supplied by: 1. David Everitt-Matthias, 2. Robin Gill, 3. Ben Bartlett, 4. Hari Ghotra, 5. Colin Layfield

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