The Corner Chronicle
Chimacum, Washington, Monday May 29, 2017
Tassie Forced to Question Herself
March 29th, 2011 by Katy McCoy

by Tassie Mardikes

Dear Tassie,

Lately I feel like the only questions folks ask me are “Is this pot of coffee fresh?” and “Where are the eggs?”.  While I don’t mind answering these, I yearn for people to probe with deeper queries.  The next month is nigh and I must write something for my advice column, or I’ll be a failure to The Chronicle!  Help!  What should I do?

Sincerely, All Too Familiar (AKA Myself)

Dear All Too Familiar,

Didn’t you overhear Heidi Eisenhour say she’s making Jerusalem Artichoke (Sunchoke) Pickles this Sunday? You are intimidated by pickling, and I’ve never seen you eat a Jerusalem Artichoke. Heidi’s fun to visit and you want her to babysit your rooster anyway.  So please, tell me…How do you make Jerusalem Artichoke Pickles, and are they even delicious?

HEY EVERYBODY, I’m pleased to inform you that Jerusalem Artichoke Pickles ARE delicious. They’re refreshing.  The flavors of the brine hit your tongue first, waking it up, and the pleasant nuttiness of the artichoke sinks in as you crunch away.  The turmeric makes them a warm golden yellow.  I took a huge jar to a small potlach, and the contents were gone in no time.  They are good with burgers, and with Indian food, but I especially loved them on their own.

It turns out they are really really easy to make.  So much so, that while we made them, we rendered 5 pounds of pork fat into lard and played with the pet rooster, Tiny Montgomery, who is settling in nicely with Heidi’s favorite hen, Sunnyside Up.

If you want to give this recipe a try, keep in mind that we are selling Jerusalem Artichokes from Oatsplanter Farm at the Farmstand!

xoxo Tassie

PS Hope you get more solicitations in the future.

HEIDI’S JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE (SUNCHOKE) REFRIGERATOR PICKLES When Heidi realized she had 40 lbs of Jerusalem Artichokes that over-wintered in her yard, she called on her mother Donna’s collection of inspirational magazine clippings. There she found an intriguing recipe for Jerusalem Artichoke Refrigerator Pickles.  Being the lovely cook that she is, she knew she wanted to change a few ingredients right off the bat.  Amping up the spices and vinegar, and cutting back the sugar, she created her own recipe.  Here it is!
Makes about 8 Cups.  Active cooking time: 35 min,  Start to finish: 1 week

click here for print-ready recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 lb jerusalem artichokes
  • 3 1/2 c white distilled vinegar
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 large onion, halved lengthwise and thickly sliced

Instructions:

  1. Wash and peel the Jerusalem Artichokes.  Cut them into 1/2-inch thick rounds, tossing them as you go, into a bowl filled high with water and 1 c vinegar.
  2. In a medium-sized non-reactive saucepan, combine 3.5 c vinegar, 1.5 c water, sugar, turmeric, mustard seeds, cayenne, and lemon juice. Over medium heat, bring your mixture to a boil, stirring so that the sugar dissolves.  Once this is achieved, set your brine aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. Drain your soaking artichokes and throw them into a pot of boiling water along with the onions.  Cook 1 1/2 minutes,then drain them and strew them on a kitchen towel so that they cool quickly.
  4. When everything is at room temperature, pack your veggies into clean jars.  Pour the brine over them.  Make sure all the good bits of spices and mustard seeds make it into the jars!
  5. Give each jar a hearty shake and put it in the refrigerator.  Shake each jar, every day, for a whole week.  This is the only tricky part of the whole recipe.  They are ready to eat after 1 week, but if you cheat and open a jar, you might endup eating them all before they’ve fully brined.

5 Responses

  1. Tassie says:

    Jerusalem Artichokes are also called Sunchokes. They have beautiful flowers of a sunflower-yellow color, but their shape is more reminiscent of a daisy. They are of the same genus as sunflowers, Helianthus.

  2. Bonnie Story says:

    Wonderful!!! I have some one-year old plants that hopefully will be divide-able this year – fingers crossed. This recipe looks great!!! Good thinking. — Bonnie

  3. joan says:

    Must the artichokes be peeled? Have they been tried w/peel? think i am going to grow these as i love them in so many things! Thank you!

    • Tassie says:

      Good question! You could just scrub them really well and forgo the peeling. This would be great because you wouldn’t waste nearly so much vegetable material–they have all those knobs that you practically have to remove if you want to peel them. I guess most people are just in the habit of peeling them for aesthetic preferences, but you really don’t have to!

  4. Kira says:

    Yum! Looks delicious! Are Jerusalem artichokes from a type of sunflower?
    Thanks for the wonderful column!