The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.
There’s a very strange vegetable roaming on our plot.
Some years ago we bought six knobbly tubers at an organic green grocers.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Since then we get around 200 Jerusalem artichokes every year. They are healthy, prolific and neglected. Even though we made a submerged quarantine area from concrete slabs they ‘walked’ into our plot and the plot next door.
Even though I’ve dug them over, oh so carefully many times, they return ceaselessly season after season.
Meanwhile I love them.
Nutty looking and nutty tasting.
It has several names.
The Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), also called sunroot, sunchoke, earth apple or topinambour, is a species of sunflower native to eastern North America, and found from eastern Canada and Maine west to North Dakota, and south to northern Florida and Texas. It is also cultivated widely across the temperate zone for its tuber, which is used as a root vegetable.
Jerusalem Artichoke may be from the Italian name, girasole. It’s got no connection to Italy.
Meanwhile I’ve learned a thing or two about them.
First off boiling them in their skins is advisable. Then the skin can be split and slide off with ease. The though of trying to peel them first is scary.
They can be pressure cooked in five mins or so.
Secondly. (Warning: bodily function alert)
Mr Green Lizard has a different special name for these knobbly chokes. He adds a simple f at the front of their name.
How can I put this?
They’re windier than Marilyn’s white dress!
Don’t let this put you off. There is a preventative solution.
bonenkruid otherwise known as bean herb. It’s an antidote for the wind that such veg produce. I’ve given the English link to summer savoury, the more polite name for the herb. No mention of beans there Eh?
Third fact. Chickens love them. Hooray an answer to the prolific quantities some greedy hens.
(They’ll be pleased of a mention!)
I’m going to attempt to cook with them. But that’s another post.
a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...