Tuesday, November 5, 2013

#3 The Raw Idea for Jerusalem Artichokes

Kathy likes them RAW  

The jerusalem artichoke drop-off happened today. A 24# box of earthy soil clinging knobby sunchokes that we grew at Bradner Gardens this Summer will be bagged and distributed tomorrow. At the food bank I met Kathy, pictured here with sunchokes in hand. I asked her how she prepares them. She told me that she likes to add them raw to salads or sliced as crudités to serve with dips and spreads. Probably peeling is most palatable, then slicing or grating for serving raw. When they are fresh out of the ground they are firm and crisp.  Raw is good.

It was so good to visit the food bank and speak with the staff. They are concerned about the reduction in food stamps. I expect the demand on Food Banks will rise. I am thinking about trying to see if I can live off of the food stamp amount for a week - without relying on the food stores in my cupboards. They said the daily dollar equivelent to live by is currently $7 per day, but that this amount will be lower now.  Kathy suggested I try it for a couple months at least to really understanding the experience.

#2 Vegan Sunchoke Spaghetti

Vegan Sunchoke Spaghetti

Dress freshly cooked spaghetti with olive oil, lemon zest, s&p and sunchokes that have been peeled and boiled. Topping with roasted hazelnuts, squeeze of lemon. Addition of fresh herbs like chopped feathery fennel tips, would be nice.

To prepare the chokes: 
Cook the peeled and sliced sunchokes in boiling water on the stove or microwave for about 3 minutes, melt a drizzle of olive oil in the sauté pan, about a tablespoon, add 1 clove of chopped garlic and stir, add peeled and chopped chokes, zest, salt and pepper, and about a 1/4 cup of their cooking water and cook a minute or so until the sunchokes are are soft and flavors mixed. 

Combine the cooked spaghetti with the sunchokes and chopped herbs. Top with grated cheese if you please.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

#1 Smashed Sunchoke and Potato Patties

3 large yellow finn potatoes, peeled, boiled, sliced
6 large sunchokes, cleaned, peeled, boiled, sliced
2 tbsp of butter or olive oil
Mash together with a potato masher
add in teaspoon each of chopped chives and thyme or herbs of your choice
1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper 
If mixture is too dry to hold together, add some liquid cooking water from chokes or potatoes
Hand pat a palm sized scoop into a patty, 

Melt butter or olive oil in frying pan on medium heat
Add patties of mashed vegetables until browned

Gather/shopping list: potatoes, sunchokes, butter or olive oil, fresh herbs, parmesan cheese

Submitted by Isobel  

Friday, November 1, 2013

Harvest 2013

We harvested today. Our bounty weighed in at just under 40 pounds. Community participants each took a share and the remaining 2/3rds is packed to donate to the local Food Bank.  We left another maybe 15 pounds in the ground for later, saving some for seeding in the spring.

Hot pumpkin soup with enoki mushrooms, chocolate pear loaf, green salad, delicious reward for the cold windy November work party sporting gusts to 50 mph. We tasted some Jerusalem 'chokes boiled and sliced with lemon, olive oil and sea salt and herbs. We talked about versatility of the humble tuber. They can be eaten raw, or with a little crunch, as well as melt in your mouth soft. Watch for more recipes as community members share how they prepare the harvest.