This vegetable looks like root ginger but is in fact from the sunflower family. Its name is derived from the Italian name for sunflower – girasole. Once cooked the tuber tastes remarkably like the globe artichoke – nutty and sweet.
Serves: 6 - 8
1 kilo Jerusalem artichokes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
150 grams streaky bacon,
10 juniper berries, lightly crushed
2 teaspoons fennel seed
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, zest and juice sprigs of fresh thyme
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Scrub the Jerusalem artichokes well and peel if the skin is thick. If they are large, cut them in half.
Heat the oil in a sauté pan over a medium heat and add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes then add the bacon, juniper berries, fennel seed and garlic. Cook until the onion is soft.
Place a large sheet of baking paper on an oven tray and put the artichokes on top. Season with salt and pepper and scatter over the onion mixture. Zest the lemon over the top and scatter over the thyme.
Fold the paper over, turning over 3 times to seal well then twist the ends so the packet looks like a large cracker.
Cook for 20-25 minutes. Carefully open the paper and tip the contents into a serving dish. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top, garnish with some fresh thyme sprigs and serve. Serves 6-8