Jerusalem Artichoke & Brussels Sprout Salad, Plus A Book Giveaway

Ahoy Foodies!

I love living in Portland– there’s a vibrant food culture, a progressive city government, and even a special Food Policy and Programs department. How cool is that? A few months back the director of said department asked me to teach cooking classes in order to help my fellow denizens reduce their carbon foot print by eating local foods. I was thrilled!

So, if you live in Portland, please check out the schedule for my (Nearly) Meatless Monday classes at the Fremont Whole Foods and sign up today! The first class, Global Gourmet February 8th includes: Indian Dal with Local Lamb, Pad Thai with Wild Shrimp/Tofu, Crisp Greek Phyllo Pie with Winter Greens, Moroccan Albacore Tuna en Papillote. $40 for dinner and a show! We’ll discuss smart choices when buying meat and seafood and how to cook with less meat and more flavor. Something we all need to think about. You can register by clicking here.

Now, onto my most recent vegetable crush: Jerusalem artichokes, also called sunchokes. These crisp little tubers are native to North America, not the Middle East (the Jerusalem bit comes from the English mispronunciation of “girasole,” the Italian term for the tuber). To make the name even more mysterious, they aren’t closely related to artichokes. They do, however, have a crisp, juicy flesh that transforms into a buttery, potato-like consistency that tastes a bit like an artichoke when cooked.
What ever you call them, I am smitten. It seems that whatever I do with them, they show me another side of their adaptable nature. Slice them on a mandolin and bake with potatoes, cheese, and cream and I’ve got a lovely gratin with a complex, buttery flavor. Peel, and finely dice them, and combine them with bell peppers, onions, and pickling spices and I’m rewarded with my Polish grandmother’s lovely piccalilli-style relish. Boil them in a soup and puree and they are more slick than velvet. Shave them and eat them raw in a salad, as with the recipe here inspired by a salad I recently enjoyed at Olympic Provisions, and you have a virtuous mid-winter salad that is divine. The possibilities are endless with my crush.

If you would like to learn more about outside-the-box seasonal vegetables and are dieing for creative recipes that use all the bounty you buy at your local farmer’s market, may I suggest my book The Farm to Table Cookbook: The Art of Eating Locally? It just came out in paperback, and to celebrate I am giving away a signed copy to the reader who leaves me the best comment to this question:

What is your vegetable crush? Be descriptive.

I will announce the winner next post, February 15th. Good luck!


Shaved Jerusalem Artichoke and Brussels Sprout Leaf Salad
Serves 2

1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons fancy extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 generous pinch sea salt
3 ounces castelvetrano olives
6 ounces Brussels sprouts
4 ounces Jerusalem artichokes
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
4 anchovies, chopped (optional)

Place the lemon juice in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil. Add the lemon pepper and salt and whisk to combine.
Using the flat side of a chef’s knife, push on each olive until the pit comes free from the olive flesh and the pit can be removed. Cut the pitted olives into slivers and add to the bowl with the lemon juice mixture. Cut the base off of one Brussels sprout. Carefully pull off the outer leaves, continuing to trim the base to release the leaves. Stop when you get to the yellow inner leaves that are tightly packed together, reserve this part of the sprout for another use. Repeat with remaining Brussels sprouts and add the leaves to the bowl with dressing.
Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and thinly slice or shave on a mandoline slicer. Add them to the bowl. Using a sharp vegetable peeler, shave the Parmesan cheese into thin shards until you have about 1/4 cup, loosely packed. Add cheese to the salad. Toss to combine and serve. For meat eaters, add the anchovies.

21 Responses to Jerusalem Artichoke & Brussels Sprout Salad, Plus A Book Giveaway

  1. Katherine February 1, 2010 at 6:39 PM #

    For me, it’s all about red cabbage. When I was growing up in California, my Italian father would douse the stuff in red wine vinegar with tomatoes and we’d eat it out of the bowl after dinner (when we always ate salad..I’m not sure why). Today, I’m still impressed with the versatility of this veggie. A few times a week, I slice it thin and mix it with soba noodles, bell peppers,cucumber and avocado and top it with a sauce of sesame oil/sriracha/soy sauce for a to-go dinner at my night classes. It’s also delicious braised with caraway seeds and apple cider vinegar to accompany a pork chop. It’s always reliable, just like a good lover should be.

  2. Maggie February 1, 2010 at 6:52 PM #

    Oh, my vegetable crush is varies by season, but I have a weakness for heirloom tomatoes and I’m pining away for summer salads full of them.

  3. Rainy Daisy February 1, 2010 at 6:59 PM #

    Oh, I am so in love with all things artichoke-related. I will have to dig up some of these to play with. I had no idea that Jerusalem Artichokes were not related!

    I have a shameless crush on the regular-old artichoke. When I first moved to Oregon with my new husband, neither of us had a job, and we had to stay in my friend’s mom’s basement until we could find an apartment of our own. The first weekend, she took us to a farmer’s market (the first in my whole life. how embarrassing!) and I was thrilled to see that artichokes were on sale – I hadn’t eaten one in years! I bought four and called my mom to see how they were cooked, exactly. I bought a cheap tin pot and a knife at goodwill and went to town. Along with melted butter and fresh lemon, that was our first homemade meal here in Portland, and a tremendous pleasure after the stress of moving 3000 miles and trying to figure out what the bloody hell to do next.

    I love the artichoke because it’s a whole experience – I love eating with my hands, picking it apart with a companion, teaching other people how to eat it, and celebrating when we get to the heart! I love the earthy flavor and an excuse to melt a half stick of butter for dinner. I love the utter simplicity of it, and the complexity of the vegetable itself – the flowering leaves. hee! I recently did a craft exchange with a friend. I knit her matching hats for her husband and son, and she painted me an artichoke. It hangs above my oven 🙂

    Perhaps I should have started this post “call me ishmael,” because I apparently wrote a book. Sorry!


  4. Ivy February 1, 2010 at 8:02 PM #

    Not at all, Daisy! I feel the same way about true artichokes too. My mother had to bribe the produce manager at our Piggly Wiggly in Sheboygan, Wisconsin to have him bring in artichokes. She is from Seattle and missed them so much after moving to Wisconsin. They were a very special treat for us growing up, and I still feel like a princess when I steam one for myself (Mr. Tofu doesn’t like them, like so many other things).

  5. Monica February 1, 2010 at 9:46 PM #

    This winter, I’m crazy for caramelized cauliflower… I use a very simple recipe (courtesy of Orangette) — great for busy weeknights.

    Last time I made it, I kept wandering back to the baking sheet after my first serving, and was astonished to figure out I’d eaten the whole head of cauliflower by myself.

    Recipe link:

  6. Monica February 2, 2010 at 7:48 PM #

    I forgot to mention something about the cauliflower… Molly Wizenberg of Orangette fame included the recipe in her book, “A Homemade Life.” In the book’s version, the caramelized cauliflower is accompanied by an incredible salsa verde made with cilantro, garlic, jalapenos and lime juice.

    A post by another blogger went so far as to say that the result tastes like candy, and while I think that’s a stretch, the cauliflower/salsa verde combo is truly irresistible (this, coming from someone who shudders at the sight of raw cauliflower at a salad bar or on a crudite platter). The thinly sliced, roasted cauliflower ends up tasting like a really good potato chip — the perfect vehicle for all that lovely salsa verde.

    Recipe with salsa verde posted here:

  7. kab February 2, 2010 at 8:19 PM #

    Like Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett, I’ve fallen for the ugly guy. Otherwise known as celery root or celeriac, this large, white gnarly knob of a vegetable looks like a really scary tumor. But once peeled and roasted or steamed, it’s revealed to be a sweet-natured smooth talker, all silky and light. Mashed and mixed with butter or olive oil and roasted garlic, it’s better than mashed potatoes, and as the main ingredient in a puréed soup you won’t even miss the cream. And I guarantee you’ll live happily ever after.

  8. Lila February 2, 2010 at 9:50 PM #

    I’m almost embarassed to say it, but I have a huge crush on Romanesco. When I see one, I can’t stop staring at it. It intrigues me to no end. It’s beautiful and so odd at the same time – other worldly. I’m intimidated by it. How do you cut it? How do you cook it? Is it really a vegetable? Romanesco looks more like something found under the sea than on a dinner plate.I have no idea what to do with it, but I love it anyway.

  9. merrilymarylee February 3, 2010 at 2:10 AM #

    I must tell you that you’re right–Jerusalem artichokes are fantastic! I used to include them in my perennial bed; they flowers look like swamp sunflowers. The very, very best thing to do with them is to pickle them. They’re crunchy and SO delicious! (However, if you grow them, you find that all kinds of underground critters like them, too. YECH!)

    I’m probably a sweet potatoholic. I love them in salads, baked, fried, mashed, in casseroles, in stir fry recipes, in pies, in cakes. I think it’s marvelous that something so versatile is good for us, too! I try to never be without them.

  10. Cheryl February 3, 2010 at 6:46 PM #

    Ohhhh, this is fun. Let’s play the guessing game with my veggie crush.

    My veggie crush facts: Who can guess?

    1. My veggie crush represent the third largest fresh vegetable industry in the United States.

    2. During the American Civil War, General Ulysses S. Grant sent a telegram to the War Department, “I will not move my army without _______.” The next day he got them.

    3. My veggie crush is the official Texas state veggie.

    4. My veggie crush was once worshiped by the Egyptians (Yah, they are that good. LOL)

    5. Finally fact, my veggie crush comes in many varieties and is generally round, stinky and will bring you to tears.

    Yep, you guessed it, it is the onion. I am wild about onions. Have been since I was a kid. I use to eat a whole baseball sized onion in a day (RAW with just some blue cheese dressing). I eat them in almost everything. They add tons of flavor and are relatively cheap. Bummer, though, everyone in my family absolutely despises them.

  11. Ivy February 3, 2010 at 8:05 PM #


    I love em too! Have you ever tried a thinly sliced Walla Walla mixed up with good creamy feta, evoo, salt and pepper on a good baugette? Heaven!

  12. Ivy February 3, 2010 at 8:06 PM #

    Yes! I do love cauliflower roasted, too. I wrote a column about roasted cauli soup…I should post it, huh? Creamy with no cream! Mr. Tofu will be cringing like crazy…he hates brassicas.

  13. Ivy February 4, 2010 at 3:18 AM #

    I’ll post a thing on freaky romesco soon.

  14. shornrapunzel February 4, 2010 at 5:31 PM #

    In very late fall and very early spring, my weakness is asparagus. Pencil-thin spears, that woody green color of new growth – at this time of year these bunches of promise not only attract me from a flavor perspective, but they mean something about the weather. Since it is only February, this is sometimes a lie, but they give me something to look forward to – they permit me brief rememberances of what Spring means.
    My new favorite way to cook asparagus is not on the stovetop, as Mom taught me, but in the oven.
    I snap the stems of the asparagus and combine them, a scattering of cherry tomatoes, two or three minced cloves of garlic, the juice from half a lemon and the juiced lemon half, sliced, on a baking sheet. I toss my veg liberally with olive oil, then add black pepper and sea salt. At 400F, a bunch of skinny spears usually takes about 15 minutes to cook.
    When the tomatoes are just bursting their skins and the asparagus spears are pliant but still slightly crisp, I devour them. I like the stems better than the fronds; I like their freshness and slight sweetness that pairs so well with the acidity of the tomatoes and the sour brightness of the lemon. Crisp, glistening with olive oil, fresh emerald greenness, perfect.

  15. Esme February 6, 2010 at 5:14 AM #

    Tomatoes are mine-no matter where you live you can grow your own tomatoes. I love their ripeness. You can eat tomatoes every hour of the day-with eggs and sausages roasted for breakfast, BLT at lunch roasted again for dinner or a tomato salad. Raw or cooked-tomatoes are what summer is all about. I also love their colors-red, purple, green yellow, orange. Sometimes a little salt and pepper or a drizzle of olive oil. My parents are from Malta-which has the best bread. Slice off some bread, take a ripe tomatoes and just smush it into the bread, drizzle some olive oil, add capers and mint. One of my favorite food memories that take me home.

    I found your blog -as I checked out your book The Adaptable Feast-it is due tomorrow and I have yet to make any of the recipes. I think I need my own copy. Great book.

    thank you,

  16. Delhibelly February 8, 2010 at 10:08 PM #

    Behold the dainty asparagus
    Worthy of the Marquis of Barabas.
    To compare and contrast
    With other veg it doth surpass,
    Prithee-Is that really fair of us ?

  17. Dana February 9, 2010 at 10:00 PM #

    I already have your incredible and wonderful book so please don’t enter me in the contest. Just had to comment and thank you for all the great JA ideas. I made a soup last fall with them and spinach that I LOVED. I so wish I could attend your classes. Are you coming to Seattle any time?

  18. Ivy February 10, 2010 at 12:49 AM #

    Thanks Lila, KAB, Merrilymarylee, Cheryl, Shornrapunzel, Esme, Delhibelly, Dana!

    Dana, I’ll be teaching classes at PCC Markets on February 19th and 20th. Awesome class that’s selling out fast! The link to sign up is here:

    Hope to see you there!

  19. Anne Louise February 14, 2010 at 7:23 PM #

    I have a long-standing love for most vegetables, despite having grown up with mixed veggie medleys from the freezer section. (I still cannot look a lima bean in the face, although I allow that they are probably delicious when plucked straight from the garden, as most all things are. I shudder to remember that mushy gushy bleagh, boiled to death on the stovetop.)

    However, my newest affair, or crush, would have to be on beets. Beets! Delicious! I remember my mother eating pickled beets growing up, and I was hugely skeptical of them. Brightly hued and stored in a jar in the fridge, they just, quite frankly, weirded me out. But these days! I love them! I cannot get enough. So many ways to prepare them – I love them raw, sliced up very fine, mixed with some carrots to create a vibrant midwinter salad. I adore them roasted in the oven. I even delight in them when they are boiled, and I can peel and slice them, steaming hot, and decorate them with a light dressing, mmmmm.

    And beet greens! Beyond! A nutritious powerhouse to be added to any dish imaginable – I throw dark leafy greens in all my winter casseroles. I stew them. I sautee them. I savor them.

    Hopefully this crush, unlike all of my high school sigh-filled obsessions, will turn into something more manageable, more reasonable, for the long-term. For now, though. I am in the throes. Beets!

  20. surgerygal February 23, 2010 at 6:51 PM #

    Hello Ivy, I am new to your blog..but a vegetable crush is:
    a term used to describe a mash of the wrong type of vegetables..they are left a bit lumpy..if you would cook them at the same time and temp then you could end up with a mash that is smooth

  21. Cucee Sprouts September 1, 2010 at 11:14 PM #

    I love Brussels Sprouts but I’ve never really had them “raw” until now. I love your recipe but I also want to share mine with you – my recipe is so simple but SOOO good!!!

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