This dish, adapted from Barbara Kafka's Vegetable Love (Artisan 2005), shows off the earthy taste of Jerusalem artichokes. Use firm, briny green olives with their pits. If that's intolerable, use small pitted green Spanish olives. Try to bake the dish in a pan that will set off the beautiful browned vegetables. This can be served hot or at room temperature as a first course or a main dish, maybe with some ham or prosciutto.
Makes 6 to 8 side-dish servings
2 pounds Jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds medium shallots, peeled and trimmed
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, cored and chopped into large pieces (about 3 cups)*
1/2 drained medium green olives (about 3/4 cup), preferably Picholine
1 tablespoon coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
*Yes, winter tomatoes are usually a bad idea. You could use canned, but I find the bright red so pretty with the green olives and earth tones of the vegetables. Roma tomatoes or those grown hydroponically at least have a little flavor.
Place a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Place the Jerusalem artichokes in a 17 1/2-by-12-inch roasting pan. Slick with olive oil, then arrange them in a single layer. Roast for 5 minutes. Turn them over and rotate the pan. Roast for another 5 minutes.
Turn the artichokes again, add the shallots in a single layer and rotate the pan. Add the chicken stock and tomatoes. Roast for 10 minutes. Stir in the olives and roast for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are nicely browned.
Season with salt and pepper and serve.