lemon-roasted potatoes & Jerusalem artichokes with bay & garlic
Who played loose with the facts and came up with the name “Jerusalem Artichoke”? It’s neither artichoke nor does it hail from Jerusalem. They look somewhat like ginger root on the outside, all knobby, more like a small potato when you cut them open. Texture more like water chestnut, crisp and crunchy when raw. Flavor, sweeter than a potato, far more flavor than a water chestnut. And when paired with potatoes, scrumptious!
If you can’t find these little tubers, use all potatoes instead. You might try pairing reds and Yukon golds for extra color on your plate.
I’ve roasted them together here, in good olive oil, slices and juice of lemon, aromatic bay leaves and garlic. (Did you know how very well lemon goes with potatoes? In light of how delicious, it’s surprising how well-kept a secret that is.)
To the nearly finished potatoes, you could add halved cherry tomatoes, or Kalamata olives. You could increase the garlic to 4 cloves if you and your love agree to eat them together. You could add dried mint or oregano. You have options, depending on which direction you’d like to take your meal. But here’s a very delicious beginning…
Lemon-Roasted Potatoes & Jerusalem Artichokes with Bay & Garlic
(about 4 servings)
- 1 pound (500 g) Yukon gold potatoes
- 1 pound (500 g) Jerusalem Artichokes
- 2 lemons, washed, then sliced in ¼-inch slices (seeds removed)
- 2 Tablespoons very good Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 bay leaves (fresh, if possible – if they’re more than a year old, they’ll have little flavor left)
- 2 whole garlic cloves, crushed (but not chopped)
Optional additions: dried mint or oregano, cherry tomatoes halved, Kalamata olives, more garlic.
Wash the potatoes and put them whole into a pot of cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce temperature to a gentle simmer. Cook for 15 minutes then pour the pot’s contents into a colander. When potatoes have cooled enough to handle, cut them in half or quarters, depending on their size.
While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the Jerusalem artichokes. Peel their skins and cut in approximately 2-inch pieces (5 cm). Don’t worry if you can’t remove all the peel. It won’t matter in the end at all.
Tumble the cut potatoes and “chokes” into a baking dish or roasting pan large enough to accommodate them. (They’ll brown better if not overcrowded.) Cut lemons into ¼-inch rounds and add to the potatoes. Scatter with generous amounts of salt and pepper, the bay leaves, other herbs (if using), drizzle lemon juice and olive oil. Give it all a good toss, then put them into a preheated to 425°F (220°C) oven for about 40 minutes or so. During the roasting, stir and redistribute a couple of times.
(NOTE: You can roast these, along with the marinated turkey in the previous post, in the same oven. Add them to the oven after the temperature on the turkey’s been reduced the first time. When the turkey comes out of the oven to rest, boost the oven temperature back up to 425°F (220°C) and cook until potatoes are nicely browned. Carefully employ the broiler if needed.)
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