Jerusalem artichokes are a winter winner with their sweet, nutty flavour and crisp texture.
These perennial root vegetables are easy to grow and hardy. In late summer, they bear pretty yellow sunflower-like flowers.
Discover some interesting facts about Jerusalem artichokes.
Did you know...
Different to globe and Chinese artichokes, Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus) is a member of the sunflower family and originates from cooler parts of North America. Its stout, leafy stems grow to several metres tall, making an excellent screen or windbreak.
Jerusalem artichokes are rich in iron and potassium and can be eaten raw or cooked. Instead of starch, which is the main component of root veg such as potatoes, these tubers contain the carbohydrate inulin. This may have an unfortunate effect on the digestion, though cooking and eating small amounts will help acclimatise your system.
Once the stems die back in autumn, cut back to within a few centimetres of soil level and lift tubers as required through the winter. Leave some in the ground to grow the following year.
Tubers keep well in the ground, but in cold areas where the soil freezes, spread a thick surface mulch of straw or wood chip, or lift and store in boxes of damp sand in a cool outbuilding. Tubers keep in the fridge for up to a fortnight, in sealed plastic bags.
How to grow
Jerusalem artichokes crop best in sun and free-draining, alkaline soil that isn't too rich. In spring (or late winter in mild areas), plant the tubers early to achieve the heaviest crops. Water well during dry spells and draw up soil around stems for stability as the plants grow.
'Fuseau' is smooth-skinned and therefore easier to prepare.