Jerusalem artichoke ‘wedges’ with green olive aioli

Jerusalem artichoke ‘wedges’ with green olive aioli

By
From
New Feast
Serves
4
Photographer
Alan Benson

In our view, Jerusalem artichokes are sadly misunderstood and underused – which probably has something to do with their carminative reputation. However, they have a unique flavour that is extraordinarily versatile and lends itself well to both savoury and sweet dishes.

These ‘wedges’ came about during a spot of kitchen experimentation (aka mucking around!). When poached and then deep-fried, they develop a fantastic crunchy-chewy exterior and a melting interior. Serve them as a snack or mezze dish with a cold beer. They are brilliant with this green olive aioli, but equally good with a spicy relish or with thick yoghurt swirled with green harissa and a good sprinkling of salt.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
12 medium jerusalem artichokes, peeled
olive oil, for frying
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Green olive aioli

Quantity Ingredient
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, crushed with 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
250ml olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon finely chopped green olives
1 tablespoon salted baby capers, well rinsed and chopped
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. To make the aioli, whisk the egg yolks with the mustard, garlic paste and vinegar until light and creamy. Gradually add the oil, drop by drop, ensuring each amount is incorporated before adding more. When around half the oil has been added, you should have a thick glossy paste. Whisk in the lemon juice and then add the remaining oil in a slow, steady trickle. Mix in the olives and capers, then taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Keep chilled until ready to serve. It will keep up to 5 days in the fridge.
  2. Sit the peeled artichokes in a steamer set over a pan of briskly simmering water. Depending on the size of your steamer, you may have to do this in two batches. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and steam for up to 15 minutes (but check after 10), until the artichokes are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Remove from the heat and transfer the artichokes to a board for a few minutes to allow them to steam dry.
  3. Meanwhile, pour olive oil into a small, heavy-based saucepan to a depth of around 4 cm and heat to 180°C.
  4. Cut the artichokes in half lengthwise and fry in batches of 6–8. Fry them on a medium-high heat for around 10 minutes, moving them around in the oil to ensure they don’t stick and that they colour evenly – don’t be tempted to hurry the process! They will develop a lovely dark golden exterior, which is chewy-crisp, rather than super-crunchy.
  5. Remove from the hot oil and drain them briefly on kitchen paper then transfer to a serving dish. Season generously with the salt and cumin and eat immediately, while still piping hot, with the green olive aioli for dunking.

Note:

  • If you don’t have a candy thermometer, the oil will have reached the correct temperature when it is shimmering, and when a small cube of bread sizzles up to the surface and turns a pale golden brown in 30–40 seconds.
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