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Lifestyle

November 22, 2013

A tuber for Thanksgiving

As a turkey side dish, try native Jerusalem artichokes

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Jerusalem artichokes still grow wild on Cape Ann. A tuft of them has been noted in Lanes Cove. My neighbor grows them, and offered me a delicious basket of the roots a few weeks ago. Friend and botanist Marvin Roberts has a healthy patch in his garden in Gloucester.

Easy to grow, pest resistant, low in calories, glycemic index kind, and high in potassium, Jerusalem artichokes have a downside. That inulin is legendarily hard to digest for some people. I confess I’ve never had that problem.

Marcella and I speak for Jerusalem artichoke’s deliciousness; as a native plant they are a wonderful addition to Thanksgiving Day. This recipe, a slow braise of thinly sliced artichokes and mushrooms, bathed in garlic and parsley, is a beautiful way to add interest to your Thanksgiving Day menu. It is even a polite bow to the Native Americans foodways that kept the early settlers alive.

If you don’t see Jerusalem artichokes in the stores, and you probably won’t, I know they can be special ordered from Willow Rest on Holly Street in Gloucester or Whole Foods; I suspect the other grocery stores would do so, too.

Sauteed Mushrooms and Jerusalem Artichokes

Serves 6

Based on a recipe from Marcella Hazan

Ingredients

1 pound Jerusalem artichokes

Lemon juice

1 pound fresh, firm cultivated mushrooms, whole or sliced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

3 tablespoons chopped Italian fine-leaf parsley

Red pepper flakes

Salt

Black pepper

Skin the Jerusalem artichokes using a small paring knife or a peeler. Rinse them in cold water, then toss in lemon juice to prevent discoloration.

Using the fine slicing disk of a food processor, thinly slice artichokes.

Brush the mushrooms clean if they are whole; slice as thinly as the artichokes.

Put the oil and garlic in a large saute pan or skillet, turn heat to medium high. Cook the garlic stirring frequently, until it’s colored gold.

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