Last spring I went to Betty's Annual Plant Sale and she talked me into buying some Jerusalem Artichoke tubers. She told me they grow very tall and have small sunflower-like flowers on them, which sounded very attractive to me. She also said that after the plants die back and there is a good hard freeze, I can dig up the tubers (which multiply like potatoes) and eat them. She raved about the flavor and all the wonderful ways one could enjoy them throughout the winter months.
Well, I liked the idea of being able to harvest something during the winter months and bring it fresh from the garden to the table. So, I bought 6 of them at 50 cents a piece.
I planted them in pots because she said that they would spread out and make "a nice big patch if left in the ground" and I do not have a nice big patch to offer. So, I planted one tuber in each pot of various shapes and sizes about 2-3 gallons each.
They grew to about 8 - 10 feet - taller than the bean teepee they were next to. They didn't flower until the end of the season, around late August - September. They blew over with the slightest breeze, which I made a mental note of in case I should want to grow them again.
Now to the yummy news: I finally got around to harvesting some of them today. One pot yeilded about a dozen tubers, maybe more. Never having eaten them before, I didn't know what to do with them. I decided to cut them into chunks and roast them in the oven.
I cut up some baby reds, purple onion, yam, and butternut squash too. I tossed them all in a big bowl with garlic infused olive oil and about 6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced, and sprinkled a generous amount of kosher salt overall. Then, I squirted in some Bragg's for good measure.
I roasted this medley on a large jelly roll pan in a hot 4o0 degree oven until everything had browned and was fork tener - about 30 minutes.
Let me just say that I am going to be one of the first to show up at Betty's plant sale this year and I am going to buy ALL the Jerusalem Artichoke tubers she has to offer!! These are now my new FAVE! They taste like artichoke hearts only BETTER!
I wish I had pictures to show you. I'll have to make a point of it now that I know what a treasure they really are.