I've been a little preoccupied lately.
In January we found out that we have to move out of our flat at the start of April and so begun much tedious trawling of flat hunting sites. The housing market is quite exceptionally dull at the moment so the same rubbish overpriced flats kept appearing but with more and more agents as the owners became more and more desperate. The fear of the unknown was starting to fray my nerves, meaning bouts of 5 am wakefulness until, on Saturday, we put a holding deposit down on a flat about three minutes walk from where we live now. We move on the 4th of April. Favourite things so far - parquet flooring, windows in all of the rooms, a balcony. Least favourite - fifth floor, no lift. Oh well.
After all the excitement we were relieved and tired, in that order, but woke up early on Sunday morning and, as we were both uncharacteristically wide awake and the sun was shining, Chris suggested heading over to Marylebone Farmer's Market. We have been saying it and saying it and saying it but somehow Sunday mornings came and went and still we stayed in bed and lazed around drinking coffee and left the house at 2pm while wondering why weekends keep disappearing so quickly. So, with this uncharacteristically early start, we were at the market by 11. After a few circuits we snacked on a spinach and cheese borek, bought some bread to have with dinner and decided to pick up a few pieces of veg to eat during the week.
A few pieces of veg became celeriac, carrots, parsnips, leeks (which have all (bar one leek) been made into a vat of soup, the last leek is destined for pasta), jerusalem artichokes, purple sprouting broccoli (more on those shortly), beetroot (to mix with chickpeas and feta for packed lunches), an onion, and some cavolo nero (I'm not sure what to do with this yet and have never cooked it before so any ideas very welcome). An impressive haul and, at just £9.90, a bargain to boot.
So back to the jerusalem artichokes. I chose to ignore their well reported trump inducing properties and flicked through a few books before settling on Nigel Slater (I know, I know, so predictable but isn't a new ingredient exactly when you most need Nigel's reassurance?) and his suggestion for roasted jerusalem artichokes.
ROASTED JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES
500g of jerusalem artichokes
Three bay leaves
A few bushy sprigs of thyme
Butter and olive oil
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 190˚C. Scrub and peel your artichokes and slice them in half lengthways. Put them into a roasting dish and squirt over the juice of the lemon, dot with a little butter, add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the dish, tuck in three bay leaves and add some thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Roast for about 45 minutes stirring occasionally until soft and slightly sticky.
We ate this with lightly cooked purple sprouting broccoli and some thick sausages but toyed with the idea of melting cheese over the top instead or just eating the artichokes with a big green salad.
Oh and the trumping properties? They have not been overstated but, as Nigel says, who doesn't secretly enjoy a good fart?