Saturday, 3 March 2012

Jerusalem Artichoke Gratin, Buttered Spring Greens and Sausages

The daffodils are out which means Spring has sprung. Now is the time you might be considering giving your home a Spring clean. Coincidentally, Jerusalem artichokes are in supply at the moment and can assist with your Spring cleaning; that is, if you are also planning to clean your...for want of a better word...insides. Jerusalem artichokes will never win most attractive vegetable of the year but for what they lack in manners and appearance they more than make up for in taste.
The sausages I had for this were some lovely, local chipolatas from a fantastic butcher. My butcher not only knows everything there is to know about meat, he knows a fair few things about vegetables. I heeded his advice about cooking the spring greens and they turned out brilliantly - see below. 
Jerusalem artichokes aren't very big and to make the most of them I needed a helping hand from the potato. In total you need 450g finely sliced and peeled artichokes and potatoes. You don't have to peel the artichokes if you give them a good scrub but I did. They have a tendency to go brown very quickly once peeled so speed is of the essence here. 
Layer the finely sliced potatoes and artichokes in a baking dish, seasoning between each layer. Mix together 120ml cream and 180ml milk and pour this over. Place in an oven at 170C for an hour and twenty minutes.
When the gratin has been in for fifty minutes, put your sausages in. I like mine with a lovely crisp skin and a little bit sticky so I oil them before they go in the oven for forty minutes on the top shelf. About five minutes before everything is ready, remove the leaves of the spring greens and the ends of the stalks. Roll the leaves up and then slice them thickly. Put them into a pan with a very small amount of water, a healthy knob of butter and a little salt and pepper. Turn the heat on and leave them for a few minutes with the lid on. They'll create their own lovely sauce.
This has to be one of my favourite meals. The sausages were perfect; golden, sticky and meaty. The gratin was creamy, filling and earthy and the buttered spring greens were cleansing and crisp. A meal to make the best of seasonal vegetables. If you've not tried Jerusalem artichokes before they are brilliant; albeit only because you can amaze your friends with your new found levitation skills. 

18 comments:

  1. I immediately want to make this. I'm guessing that simple technique will work with most other brassicas too...?

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  2. I am now giggling. A lot. I do like jerusalem artichokes too...and it's worth putting up with the errrmmm side effect, if you make sure whoever else you are dining with ALSO eats them!

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  3. A great post that brought a big smile to my face and a great recipe as well.

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  4. I have never tried these artichokes before. Interesting that they can help you to detox. I see if I can find them and will try them.
    Hope you are having a good weekend X

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  5. that make me drooling! the sausage looks crispy and saucy!

    cheers

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  6. One of the new discovery for me and its so unique. Lovely dish but so sad we don't have these artichokes over here.

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  7. Wow, nothing like I ever had - sounds delicious! I really want to try jerusalem artichokes :) Great post, thank you for sharing!

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  8. I have only ever had Jerusalem artichoke soup, and i loved it. great to see your interpretation of them in this dish!! looks delicious!

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  9. i've yet to try a jerusalem artichoke...i now need to find one immediately and make this BEAUTIFUL meal. this sounds sooooo delicious!!

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  10. I love seeing gratins using vegetables other than just potatoes! Using the jerusalem artichokes is a genius idea =)

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  11. I used sunchokes for the first time this winter. SUPER tasty! Next on the list? This gratin! :D

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  12. I've never heard of or tried a jerusalem artichoke. I don't think I've even seen them in the store (in the winter we live in a small town), but I def would like to do some spring cleaning! I'll be hunting these guys down. Thanks for the introduction!

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  13. Jerusalem artichokes? I don't think I ever came across these. Wish you could send me some. I love to try different stuff.

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  14. I have never thought of doing a gratin with them before, thats a great idea. I love the taste of Jerusalem artichokes,

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  15. Yum! What a wonderful dish.

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  16. I love hearing about more traditional dishes you make! As I was scrolling down to make a comment I noted a comment from someone who lives where I do and had not heard of Jerusalem Artichokes though they do grow them in Colorado and sell them at our Farmer's Market and at a market near me. My first experience was about a year ago when I made a ginger encrusted recipe that was to die for! I need to expand my repetoire with this lovely recipe!

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  17. Great recipe. Thanks for sharing. :))

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