Fennel, Apple & Jerusalem Artichoke Salad

Jerusalem artichokes (aka sunroots, earth apples, sunchokes or whatever you want to call them) can be found all year round however they’re best when dug up after a bit of frost has hit the ground. The best time to get them is from October to March in N.America. If you aren’t familiar with them, they are an odd looking knobbly potato/ginger like tuber. They are not to be confused with the globe artichoke.. which is a relative of the thistle flower. Or so I’m told.

Fresh Jerusalem artichokes (Topinambour) at Jean Talon market in Montreal

You can eat them raw or cooked, with or without the skin. They area great replacement for those avoiding potatoes and if you want a slightly nutty or crunchy texture in a dish, However, I must warn those of you that may want to consume large amounts of this carbohydratey tuber. They contain inulin. If you thought brussel sprouts gave you wind, just wait for the fartichoke effect. Do a simple google search & you’ll find plenty of articles explaining the ‘windy’ vegetable. Personally, I think if you use a small amount like in this salad, there really isn’t much of a problem. But maybe avoid making it for a romantic dinner.

IMG_20140420_021450Fennel, Apple & Jerusalem Artichoke Salad (inspired by this recipe from Saveur)

This salad is a nice side dish that is crisp, light & refreshing. Serves 4

Dressing:
50ml Olive oil
1 tbsp Vinegar (rice/white wine/cider)
1 tbsp Fresh lemon juice
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

Salad:
1 fennel bulb (put aside a good handful of the fresh fennel fronds for serving)
2 small/medium apples (I’ve used several types of apple depending on what’s available, but something sweet & crisp works pretty well)
3 – 4 Jerusalem artichokes, cleaned & scrubbed

Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a large bowl & set aside.
Core, trim & finely slice* the fennel bulb and apples. Add to the dressing.
Finely slice the artichokes and add to the rest of the ingredients.
Mix well & leave to marinade for at least an hour.
Serve within 24 hours sprinkled with the reserved fennel fronds.

*Do use a mandoline if you have one as it’ll make slicing the vegetables easier. Just watch those fingers!

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