Jerusalem Artichokes are a new addition to the veg plot this year. I went to a talk on veg growing at my local Horticultural Society back in November 08 and someone was kindly giving away bags of them for nothing. That weekend I planted a dozen of the tubers along our back fence, 6 ” deep and roughly 2′ apart, and waited to see what would happen. Sure enough in the spring they started to shoot and grew taller and taller. By the end of the summer they were between 7′ and 10′ tall and provided a good screen against the fence. In October small sunflower-like flowers appeared which were a welcome splash of colour at the end of the season. Once the cold nights got to the foliage I cut them down to a foot high and dug up the first plant. From just one plant I got a few pounds of tubers. A quick wash and peel and they were ready for the roasting tray.
Being the first time I’ve ever grown (or eaten) artichokes I kept it simple to start with. Just chopping them up about the same size as you would for sauteed potatoes I added some olive oil, thyme and salt & pepper to the baking tray and roasted for30 mins at 180 degrees (fan oven). Once out of the oven a squeeze of lemon juice was added and straight on the plate. Delicious and best of all free!!