Roasted pheasant with Jerusalem artichoke gnocchi

Our kitchen garden cook reveals her favourite recipes with Jerusalem artichoke including roasted pheasant with Jerusalem artichoke gnocchi and lemon pesto.

These bumpy little brown tubers may look like the waste product of their beautifully tall and slender foliage, but they’re a delicious addition to the winter kitchen when good flavours are thin on the ground. They can be eaten raw in a salad, but are delicious as a velvety mash, sautéed or roasted.

Roasted pheasant with Jerusalem artichoke gnocchi and lemon pesto (serves 4)

4 pheasant
2 lemons, halved
8 sprigs rosemary
8 sprigs thyme
4 bacon rashers

300g peeled Jerusalem artichokes
300g potatoes
Half a lemon, zest of
300g plain flour
40g toasted pine nuts
Large handful fresh basil
Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley
100g grated Parmesan
Half a lemon, zest and juice of
200ml extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat your oven to 220 ̊C/425 ̊F/gas mark 7. In a large roasting tray, season the birds all over and stuff with half a lemon and half of the herbs, reserving the remainder for the end. Lay a rasher of bacon over the breast of each. Roast for about 45 minutes, depending on size.

Peel and cut the Jerusalem artichokes and potatoes into similar-sized pieces and simmer until tender. Put through a ricer into a large bowl and add the lemon zest and season well—the ricer makes all the difference as the gnocchi will be light and airy rather than stodgy. Pour in the flour and mix together. Tip the mixture out onto a floured surface and bring it together. Roll into a long sausage shape and then cut at an angle into small pieces. Dust with flour and cover loosely with clingfilm until ready to cook.

Combine the toasted pine nuts, basil, parsley, half of the Parmesan, lemon zest and juice, olive oil and seasoning in a processor and blitz to a coarse paste. Bring a large pan of water to a gentle boil and drop the gnocchi in, in batches, for a few minutes. They’re ready once they float. Remove using a slotted spoon.

Take the pheasants out of the oven, reserving the juices, and remove the by now burnt herbs and replace with fresh. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes. Toss the gnocchi in the pesto and top with remaining Parmesan, then serve with the pheasant that’s been drizzled with pan juices.

More ways with Jerusalem artichokes

Jerusalem artichoke soup with gremolata
Add 300g each of peeled Jerusalem artichokes and potatoes to a saucepan. Cover with chicken stock and simmer with a peeled and roughly chopped onion, until tender. Blitz with a stick blender and season. Add a splash of cream. Microwave a sachet of quinoa and add a table- spoon to each bowl. Pour in the soup and then sprinkle gremolata—made with lemon zest, a chopped handful fresh parsley and three crushed cloves garlic—over it. Stir a drizzle of olive oil through it and it’s ready.

Jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke and pesto pastry roses

Jerusalem artichoke and pesto pastry roses
Spread two tablespoons of pesto over a sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry, season and grate the zest of a lemon over it. Thinly slice a few Jerusalem artichokes into rounds and microwave on full for just over a minute. Slice the pastry into five even strips, lengthways. Arrange slices of layered artichokes down the side and then fold the pastry so that the slices are sticking out. Roll the pastry from one end to the other and press the join together. Repeat with remaining four slices. Butter a muffin tin and drop in the rolls. Bake in a mode- rately hot oven for 40 minutes or until the bases are golden.

Jerusalem artichoke and chicken tray bake
Peel 2 handfuls of Jerusalem artichokes and simmer in salted boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and add to a large roasting tray. Add 4 skin-on chicken breasts, 2 peeled and roughly chopped red onions, 4 peeled cloves garlic, rosemary and thyme sprigs and 3 rashers bacon cut into lardons, then season. Pour in 200ml white wine and 200ml chicken stock and squeeze in the juice from a lemon (the skin on the chicken breasts should be exposed). Dot the meat with butter and cook in your preheated, moderately hot oven for 40 minutes.

** Read more recipes from Country Life