The clocks have gone back, it’s dark by five o’clock, winter is now approaching fast and the produce available on the shelves is mostly coming from warmer climates abroad. However, there are some British gems hidden amongst the Kenyan green beans and Peruvian asparagus that are worth tracking down.
Jerusalem artichokes are one of winter's great pleasures; roasted or crushed they make a great accompaniment to pork, lamb and beef and they also make a delicious silky soup, pairing especially well with winter's wild mushrooms and truffle. Try Stephen Crane’s simple Jerusalem artichoke soup or Matthew Tomkinson’s Jerusalem artichoke gratin. This funny shaped vegetable is the tuber of the sunflower, not actually part of the artichoke family. It is sometimes referred to as topinambor or sunchoke. Another tuber available at this time of year are tiny crosnes or Japanese artichokes as they are sometimes known. These tiny vegetables are the size of a thimble and are very similar in taste to Jerusalem artichokes.