Unfortunately, they didn't even flower this year. And the tubers themselves aren't looking too great. As I mentioned above, I only pulled a few and didn't really dig too deep - they are very small! I don't eat a lot of these but it would be nice to take advantage of them now and then, especially once they really start to multiply as I'll need to dig them up to control the spread.
I am used to them being larger. The ones in the picture below were from our farm a few years ago. Maybe a different variety?
Mind you, the patch of jerusalem artichokes there was probably 3 feet wide and 15-20 feet long. And the soil was not at all as compact as mine is here.
|Jerusalem Artichoke - McDonald's Corners 2011|
I think I'll dig around the current patch and loosen up the soil a bit to see if I can improve things for next year. And I suppose they could use some additional nutrition although what I'm not sure (will google that unless anyone has ideas?).
And that is my limited contribution to the weekly harvest topic at Daphne's Dandelions Harvest Monday collection. Stop by to see what other gardeners are up to.
The rest of the post is what I've done with a previous harvest - Tarbais beans. This dish includes so many of my favourite combinations (tomatoes and bread, beans and cheese, bread and cheese, tomatoes and cheese!!) I couldn't help but love it.
BUT ... I have to admit the Tarbais beans were a bit bland. These were the beans I harvested earlier this year. Does anyone know if Tarbais beans are always so bland? It is the first time I have grown them. I realize most beans don't have a ton of flavour on their own, but the borlotti beans are considerably tastier. I'm just not sure that I want to devote the space for Tarbais next year ...
The dish is delicious either way but I might try another bean (cannellini comes to mind) the next time. As for the rest of the Tarbais bean harvest, I've seen the beans used in dessert recipes where the sugar can help with the bland flavour.
Read on for the casserole recipe.
White Bean, Bread and Tomato Skillet Casserole
2 Tbsp prepared pesto
3 cups cubed sourdough baguette
5 fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 - 1 cup chopped kale
1/4 - 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Soak beans overnight. Drain and rinse. Cover with water and cook (simmer) beans until tender - about 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat 3-4 Tbsp olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet. Add the bread cubes and stir to coat with oil. Cook until cubes are browned and toasted. Stir in pesto until bread pieces are lightly coated.
Add tomatoes and garlic. Also season at this time with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir often; cook about 7-8 minutes until tomatoes break down. Add in the beans and kale (I used the smaller amount but use as much as you like), stir and cook another minute or two.
Bake in the preheated oven about 30 minutes until the tomato liquid has reduced. Remove from oven, sprinkle with parmesan cheese then place under broiler 2-3 minutes until top is browned.
Looks absolutely delicious! I've never tasted Jerusalem artichokes before - what do they taste like & how would you prepare them?ReplyDelete
Jerusalem artichokes are pretty similar to a potato - not as creamy but can be used in the same dishes. Soup is good. But they have a carb called inulin which can make most people pretty gassy - so definitely in moderation!Delete
I haven't prepared any of the Tarbais beans that I grew this year, it will be interesting to see if mine are bland also. I've got to make some Cassoulet soon and see how they are. Cannellinis are not one of my favorite beans, their texture is too waxy, I prefer a creamier bean. I love Greek Gigante beans, they're a huge white runner bean.ReplyDelete
Hmm, you are right about cannellini being waxy - I don't really know my beans very well. Maybe i'll keep an eye out for Gigante ...Delete
Interesting you are growing Jerusalem artichokes and trying to get them to spread, rather than trying to eradicate them. But it sounds like you have experience. The casserole dish looks delicious.ReplyDelete
I know ... kind of crazy to encourage the spread but I have a lot of space and don't like to mow that much - just need to be careful about taking it too far or I might lose control!Delete
I've always been afraid to plant Jerusalem artichokes. One year I planted them in a huge pot, but they really need more space than that.ReplyDelete
LOL, now I'm getting nervous. Actually, I should be fine ... lots of space where I'm at.Delete
I love sunchokes but they don't like me! I can't handle the inulin. I bought some runner cannelini beans that are big like the Gigante. I love the texture and flavor of them. I've never tried the Tarbais though.ReplyDelete
Thanks Dave, I appreciate the ideas on other bean varieties to try. I really like the borlotti that I already grow, but I like the idea of having a white bean as well.Delete
Many years ago I planted sunchoke but they spread so fast had to get rid of them, took me a few seasons to totally rid of them. I agree a field of them blooming would be very impressive.ReplyDelete
I'll keep a close eye over the next year or two. I think the conditions where I've planted them are not that great so I expect it to be manageable.Delete