Jerusalem artichoke is a quirky little vegetable.

A quirky little vegetable, these knobbly tubers have a unique taste that can probably best be described as a combination of potatoes and globe artichokes. Treat them as a stand-in for spuds and you can’t go wrong.

Jerusalem-artichoke and black-garlic mash with cod, kale, Parma ham and kale-pesto mayonnaise (serves 4)

Ingredients

600g Jerusalem artichokes
3 cloves black garlic (normal will do, but reduce to 1 clove as black is mellower)
4 cod fillets (about 120g each)
4 slices Parma ham
4 handfuls kale
Kale pesto
3 handfuls kale, stem removed
150g Parmesan, grated
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
75g pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
100ml olive oil or more if needed
4tbspn mayonnaise

Method

Preheat your oven to 180°C/350ºF/gas mark 4. Peel the Jerusalem artichokes and cut into even-sized pieces, then simmer in salted water until tender. Drain well. Add the black garlic and a good splash of olive oil, then use a stick blender to make a purée. Keep warm until ready to serve.

To make the pesto, add the kale, Parmesan, lemon, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil to a processor and blitz into a coarse paste. Taste, add seasoning and set aside.

Next, place the cod fillets on a baking tray, season and smear with pesto. Crumple a slice of Parma ham onto each fillet and bake for 20 minutes.

While the fish is in the oven, boil your kale in salted water for a few minutes. Drain well and toss with a spoonful of pesto.

Serve the cod with the Jerusalem-artichoke mash and kale. Add mayonnaise to the remaining pesto, mix well and serve on the side.

More ways with Jerusalem artichokes

Jerusalem artichokePrawn, scallop and cod gratin with sliced Jerusalem artichokes

Preheat your oven to 200°C/ 400°F/gas mark 6. Melt 75g of butter in a saucepan and add a chopped onion, frying until soft. Sprinkle in 50g plain flour, mix well and gradually add 600ml milk. Stir in seasoning, chopped chives and parsley. Arrange 200g each of prawns, scallops (roe removed) and cod chunks in a shallow, buttered dish, then top with the saucepan mixture. Grate lemon zest over the sauce and top with thin discs of Jerusalem artichoke (you will need about 4). Pour in 150ml of seasoned double cream and bake for 30 minutes. Scatter with amaranth micro herbs to serve.

Jerusalem-artichoke soup

Add 200g each of peeled Jerusalem artichokes and potatoes to a saucepan with 2 cloves of garlic, 1 chopped onion, 1 sprig of rosemary and 2 sprigs of thyme. Add just enough chicken stock to cover and simmer until everything is tender. Remove the herbs and blitz with a stick blender. Add a splash of cream and serve with focaccia. Simple and delicious.

A side of Jerusalem artichokes

Arrange 500g of peeled and roughly chopped Jerusalem artichokes in a baking dish. Add a few sprigs of thyme, 3 rashers of bacon cut into lardons, a good coating of olive oil and a few unpeeled cloves of garlic. Squeeze the juice of two lemons over everything and add them to the dish, then roast in a hot oven for 30 minutes. Remove the lemons and thyme and serve alongside roast chicken with the pan juices.