As many people know, last night was the first night of Passover. I had completely forgotten, so we didn’t do anything special. However, tonight I remembered that I had bought some Jerusalem Artichokes last Saturday at the farmers’ market, and I thought they would be fitting to cook for dinner. Jerusalem Artichokes, also called Sunchokes, look like potatoes, but have a slight artichoke flavor. Last year, I had bookmarked this recipe for a Jerusalem Artichoke and Parmesan Tart from Whole Foods, but couldn’t find any, so I never made it. As written, the tart looked a little heavy (and I didn’t have all the ingredients for the crust or even the filling on hand), so I made a few modifications.
Step 1) The Crust:
The cornmeal crust in the Whole Foods Recipe sounded good, but I did not have any polenta on hand. Instead I used this Olive Oil Tart Crust made with part whole wheat flour from Chocolate and Zucchini, that I have made before. I followed the recipe exactly, and it came out well. I really liked the flavor, but the edges were sloppy. I really need a tart pan.
Step 2) Preparing the Jerusalem Artichokes
The sunchokes I bought were particularly knobby, which made using a peeler impossible. Instead I had to slice them and then take the skin off with a knife. This took forever. Then I simmered them for quite a while (longer than in the recipe), while I got everything else ready.
Step 3) The Filling
I sauteed some onions in garlic in butter, and then put them on top of the sunchokes instead of mixing them into the custard like in the recipe.
For the custard, I mixed 2 eggs (beaten), just less than 1/3 cup sour cream, and 1/3 cup milk (2%), until it was an even constistancy, then I stirred in about a teaspoon each of dried thyme, grey sea salt, and black pepper, and about 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg. This was slightly lighter than the mixture in the recipe, which used an egg and 2 yolks and half and half with the sour cream. Then I grated some cave-aged Gruyere over the top. I baked it at 400 F until the custard was set (about 20 minutes).
I really liked this, and Ian seemed to like it okay, too. The Jerusalem Artichokes had a nice flavor, and the texture was nice, too.
With this tart, I served a really pleasant salad.
For the salad, I used a base of mixed lettuce. Then I added some Vidalia onion, shaved asparagus (made with the vegetable peeler like yesterday), and a slice of buffalo mozzarella (from Blue Ridge Dairy) seasoned with salt and pepper. I topped the salad with a lemon vinaigrette (dijon mustard, onion, grey sea salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice).
Dishes like these make me feel like Spring is really here. Apparently the weather this week won’t hurt, either.