February -cooking with artichokes February 5, 2018

Fork to Fork – a blog about cooking and gardening inspired by what’s in season at Martineau Gardens.

Written and photographed by one of our volunteers, alias Sam Spade the Digging Detective.

It’s February and I’m in love….with Jerusalem artichokes

 This week we have been digging up and cooking Jerusalem artichokes. No need to peel, just give them a good scrub and away you go.

Recipe :1 Jerusalem Artichoke and Toasted Almond Soup 

Recipe from Abel and Cole : the Veg Box Companion, by Keith Abel  (a marvellous book)


1 tbsp of butter and 1tbsp olive oil, 1 large onion or 5 – 6 shallots, 8- 10 largish artichokes scrubbed and thinly sliced, 2 Garlic cloves finely chopped, a splash of sherry, Marsala or Apple juice, 4 tbsp hazelnuts or almonds toasted and roughly ground, A few sprigs of thyme, leaves only, 600ml chicken or veg stock, warmed, A drizzle of cream to serve…recipe says optional..but for the team it was a must


Pop butter and oil into heavy bottomed pot and place over a medium heat. When the butter foams add onion, sizzle slowly until golden. Add Jerusalem artichokes and garlic. Cover. Turn heat down and sweat until really soft. Stir often. Top tip when I made the soup I sweated the artichokes until they were very broken down, I wonder if that added to the intense flavour. Pour in the liquid…booze or juice add the nuts and let it sizzle. Add the thyme and stock. Blitz. Pass through a sieve for that smooth consistency. Check the seasoning and serve with the cream.

Recipe: 2 Jerusalem Artichokes in Cheese Batter

I came across a recipe whilst researching Artichokes, I haven’t tried it out on the team yet. It is taken from a war time book by Marguerite Patten: We’ll Eat Again, Economical Recipes. Serves four.


1 lb artichokes, seasoning, 6 oz plain flour, 2 x eggs, ½ pint of milk, 2 – 3 oz grated cheese


Scrub and boil artichokes in salted water until tender. Peel and cut in thick slices.  Make the batter and add the cheese. Oil in the oven until sizzling. Add the batter then the Artichokes and cook for approx. 25 mins.

Recipe: 3 Artichokes with Cracked Wheat

Finally a recipe from our volunteer Hayat Hewitt, a marvellous Lebanese cook with her own way of doing things so no measurements with this one, but give it a go. A little experimenting never hurt anyone.


1 x onion, 1 x cup of cracked wheat, stock, cinnamon, seasoning, tomato puree, 4 or 5 artichokes, mushrooms


Fry the onion until soft, then add the cracked wheat and the chopped mushrooms. Stir until coated with oil. Add tomato puree and stock, simmer until cooked. Roast or boil the artichokes and add them to the cooked cracked wheat, serve with salad and yoghurt.

Note from our Director, these vegetables come with an ‘F’ rating – some people can be affected by them, they can give you a good bit of wind.

Freshly grown artichokes are on sale from the sales area * at Martineau Gardens (£3 per kilo).  (*Subject to availability, please give us a ring first to check supplies on 0121 440 7430 if you’re making a specific journey to buy them.)

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