Inspired and Creative Vegetable Recipes and More from Acclaimed Chef Deborah Madison
One of my favorite cookbooks in recent years is the gorgeous Vegetable Literacy by the wonderful Deborah Madison. I had the pleasure of taking a cooking class with Madison many years back and her thoughtful, balanced approach to preparing food was as evident in the kitchen as it is in this book. (I still make her delicious turnip soup regularly.)
Madison is a master of flavor combinations, building complex and incredibly satisfying food out of seemingly simple ingredients. The same can be said about Vegetable Literacy, which takes the humblest of vegetables, like the Jerusalem artichoke, and turns them into something good enough to serve to company. Madison’s cookbook is a must for vegetarians and a treasure trove for home cooks wanting to increase their creativity and knowledge about vegetables. Highly recommended.
—Maya Parson, Edible Michiana editor
Sun Choke Bisque with Pumpkin Seed Oil and Sunflower SproutsRecipe from Deborah Madison, Vegetable Literacy Serves 4 to 6
For those of you unsure about Jerusalem artichokes, a soup is a good place to start. The final soup is puréed, so you don’t need to worry about finely cutting the potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes.
2 tablespoons safflower or sunflower seed oil
1 small onion, sliced
3 small yellow-fleshed potatoes, scrubbed and cut into chunks
1 pound Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed and chopped
1 celery stalk, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups water, vegetable stock or chicken stock
2 bay leaves
Milk, half-and-half or heavy cream, for thinning (optional)
Freshly ground pepper to finish
Roasted pumpkin seed oil
½ cup croutons, crisped in ghee or olive oil
Heat the oil in a soup pot over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes and celery. Sauté over high heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic during the last few minutes. Pour in the water or stock, add 1½ teaspoons salt and the bay leaves and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.
Let cool briefly, and then remove the bay leaves and purée the soup until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and reheat over gentle heat. Add milk as needed to thin the bisque to the desired consistency. Taste for salt and season with pepper.
Ladle into bowls and drizzle a few drops of the pumpkin seed oil over the surface of each serving. Top each bowl with a few croutons, then finish with a small clump of sunflower sprouts and serve.
With Sautéed Radicchio: Sliver then sauté radicchio in olive oil or safflower seed oil until wilted and browned, then garnish each bowl of soup with it, along with the sunflower sprouts, or not.
For more Jerusalem artichoke recipes, see our Spring 2015 issue of Edible Michiana