The poor maligned Jerusalem artichoke. Victimised by bad PR. For many years Jerusalem artichokes were unpopular simply because of an old wives tale linking them to leprosy. From medieval times into the Tudor era many foods were associated by their respective “humours” in relation to something physical about them. So a similarity in shape between the tubers and the deformed fingers of people suffering from leprosy made for really bad press relations.
Jerusalem artichokes aren’t in fact artichokes nor do they come from Jerusalem. The word Jerusalem comes from ‘girasole’ meaning sunflower in Italian and these tasty, nutty flavoured roots are related to that very same flower. But if you search them out at your local farmers market and give them a try they will not disappoint. The tubers are full of nutrients and fibre and are wonderful roasted, mashed, made into soup or blended into this garlicky moreish dip.
500g Jerusalem artichokes
3 fat garlic cloves
2 lemons, 1 cut into quarters
100g Greek yoghurt
Pomegranate seeds to serve
Set the oven to 180C, 160 fan.
Scrub the artichokes and slice cut into 1 cm slices. Toss in a large glug of olive oil and add the 3 garlic cloves and the lemon quarters. Season well and roast for 30 minutes or until golden or tender when pierced with a fork. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Squeeze the garlic out of the skins and tip the artichokes and garlic into a blender. Whizz until smooth adding lemon juice from the roasted quarters or the second lemon to taste. Add greek yoghurt and mix well. Adjust seasoning.