Crosnes Sauteed in Butter
Crosnes, also known as Chinese artichoke, chorogi, knotroot or stachys affinis, are French rustic root vegetables. The little worm-looking tubers were brought to France from Japan around the 19th century and were renamed after an area near Paris (in the Essone region), called Crosne.
The vegetables are considered gourmet and are served at upscale restaurants. They cost 35 Euros ($46) a kilo. My husband Lulu saw them at an open air market and was intrigued by their shape; he'd never tasted them before. The preparation was quite simple. I boiled them, then sautéed them in butter and squeezed on a little lemon juice. Crosnes can also be eaten thin-sliced raw or pickled in salad. They're very healthy; they're rich in protein and betaine (improves digestion and helps fighting stress). In Asia, they're called chorogi, which means "longevity" because of their nutritional value. So if you come across these "forgotten" vegetables at a farmers' market in your area, give them a try!
Yields: 6 servings2 pounds crosnes
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons salted butter
2 tablespoons coarse salt
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 lemon, freshly squeezed
2 tablespoons chervil, chopped
Gently brush the crosnes, carefully removing any dirt. Place coarse salt and the crosnes in a towel; rub between your hands and rinse.
Place a steamer basket over a little water in a pot. Add the crosnes to the basket. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for about 5-8 minutes.
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottom pan. Add the garlic and cook until golden. Add butter and the crosnes. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until tender.
Garnish with chervil and drizzle with lemon juice.
When picking crosnes, choose ones that are pale and firm. Eaten raw, they taste similar to water chestnuts with a nutty flavor. Cooked, they have the texture of a potato and taste like Jerusalem artichokes.
For a vegan version, you can substitute vegetable-based margarine for the butter.Published By: on January 18, 2011.