A delicious and last minute festive dish that’s quick, easy and has “can be prepared in advance” written all over it. Strictly speaking, this isn’t a rosti (who has time at Christmas to grate root vegetables?!) but simply Jerusalem artichokes and garlic roasted to a melting softness, combined with my favourite nuts, and mashed up into little patties that can then be warmed up with the rest of the Christmas dinner on the big day. For this final step, if you need your oven on a higher or lower temperature than what I have suggested below, just alter your cooking time accordingly – all you are aiming for is a firm rosti that comes out of its baking tin easily and has a bit of a crispy top and sides.
The amounts below are simply approximations – there is no ingredient that will break the recipe! So should you have a hazelnut addiction (or indeed an allergy) or not a fan of truffle oil, for example, add more or leave it out. Life is too short to peel Jerusalem artichokes, but definitely give them a scrub as soil can get into all the crevices and knobbles.
You don’t need a food processor for this recipe: to break up the hazelnuts, pop them into a freezer bag and pound with a non-breakable heavy object such as a rolling pin. To mash up the artichokes to form the cakes, just use a handheld blender – the lazy option – or a potato masher.
You will need some small cooking vessels for these, such as mini cake tins/muffin tins/baking rings on a baking sheet, or simply make one big rosti.
Ingredients – serves 2 hungry people; makes 2 x 11 cm patties
500g Jerusalem artichokes
Oil for roasting, greasing and frying – I use truffle oil for both
1 garlic bulb
Selection of mushrooms
Fresh thyme leaves (optional)
Preheat the oven on 200 (fan)/220 (conventional)
- Wash the Jerusalem artichokes thoroughly and slice in half, or thirds, into even sized chunks. Toss in a drizzle of oil – you don’t need much – and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes.
- Pull off the loose papery layers on the garlic bulb before slicing it in half horizontally to expose the garlic cloves. Nestle each half with the artichokes, cooking for around 30 minutes until the cloves are squishy and a pale brown.
- In a separate dish, roast the hazelnuts for 10-15 minutes until they turn a rich brown and the skins are beginning to crack. Let them cool a bit before rubbing off any loose skins (don’t spend too much time on this!) and then breaking them up into a loose crumble.
- Once the garlic and artichokes have finished their oven roasting, squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skin and put in a bowl with the hazelnuts and artichokes – or food processor if you have one. Mix/pound everything up to form a sticky mash – with a food processor you will only need a couple of blasts on pulse – you are aiming for a rough mash, rather than a puree. Taste and season accordingly.
- When you are ready to serve, grease your cooking tin(s)/baking rings and sheet well and press the mixture in. Cook for half an hour or so until the mash dries a little and firms up.
- Meanwhile, dice then fry the shallots in a glug of oil for about 5 minutes until golden. Scatter in the fresh thyme leaves if using. Throw in your mushrooms just before you are ready to serve the rosti cakes. Season.
- To serve, carefully invert the rosti cakes out of the baking tins and turn out onto the serving plates. Spoon the mushroom shallot mixture on top and drizzle with more truffle oil if you like