Have you ever sat in front of 7 pounds of potatoes, all ready and waiting to be peeled and used in some fancy dish? Then you might know what it’s like to sit in front of a pile of Jerusalem artichokes. These little guys are actually even more daunting than potatoes to peel, as they are smaller and more knobbly, and so present much more of a challenge. How to peel Jerusalem artichokes, I hear you cry? Well, you can cry no more – we are here to help!
What You'll Learn Today
Why peel Jerusalem artichokes
One of the things that may have put you off Jerusalem artichokes is the rumour that it can cause unpleasant gastric issues. This may well be true – but it is generally only an issue if they are unpeeled.
It is a carbohydrate in the skin that can cause wind, but if the artichoke is well cooked or peeled then you shouldn’t experience these issues. Some people don’t actually peel these little guys at all!
The skin is thin and nutritious; as with most veg the skin contains a lot of nutrients that are good for the body – and it is actually quite fiddly to remove all the skin, because this tuber is so knobbly and textured.
If, however, you like your vegetables to be free from skin, or you are following a recipe that asks for complete smoothness, then you can easily remove the skin of a Jerusalem artichoke.
Here is the founder of Riverford, explaining why a bit of skin is not problem (with an added bonus recipe to get you going too!)
How to peel Jerusalem artichokes
- If you want to keep it simple and you’re not too worried about a bit of skin, just give the outside of the tuber a good hard scrub. This will remove any flaky pieces, and will even remove some of the outer skin, because it is so thin.
- If you want to remove most of the skin, use a traditional peeler – this won’t get into all the crevices but should remove a decent amount of skin.
- For a more vigorous peel, take a teaspoon and scrape it all over the skin – it is quite a knobbly vegetable to peeling with a traditional peeler can be very fiddly.
- Peeling away from your hand, scrape the teaspoon all over the surface – it is very thin so you shouldn’t have to use too much pressure. If you press to hard you might find yourself removing the flesh as well as the skin!
- You can also, for a bit more of an easy peel, boil your artichokes until they are starting to soften, then simply pull away the skin with a knife.
Here’s a little video on this if it sounds tricky:
How to cook Jerusalem artichokes
Using Jerusalem artichokes in recipes is easy; this tuber doesn’t need too much preparation and it is versatile and easy to cook with. You can simply treat it like any other root veg, and roast it to go with Sunday lunch.
If you are a fan of a hearty winter soup then the artichoke is your new best friend – it makes a creamy delicious soup with a texture to die for!
Jerusalem artichokes work very well in a stew; just remember that they don’t take as much cooking as potatoes so you may wish to add them a little later.
You can eat Jerusalem artichokes raw, either with or without skin, finely sliced or grated into a salad. It is also popular in this way in Italian cooking; shaved thinly like Parmesan cheese.
Jerusalem artichoke skin is nowhere near as thick as other tubers, so it shouldn’t be a problem to peel it off. Or, as we have seen, you can just leave it on – it’s up to you!
Peeling Jerusalem artichokes can be a fiddly business, but it is easy enough once you know how. Removing all the skin may be difficult, but you can get rid of enough of it that a tiny bit left on the tuber won’t be noticeable.
If you are interested in our other guides about Jerusalem artichokes, read this one about storing them.