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Artichokes au Gratin

The Jerusalem artichoke is a variety of sunflower, a lumpy, brown-skinned tuber that often resembles a ginger root. The white flesh of this vegetable is nutty, sweet and crunchy. Select those that are firm and fresh-looking and not soft or wrinkled. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. After that, they will begin to wither because of moisture loss. They may be peeled or, because the skin is very thin and quite nutritious, simply washed well before being used. Jerusalem artichokes are a good source of iron.

Food Allergies
Cow's Milk

8 oz of jerusalem artichokes   
2 fl oz of milk   
2 fl oz of water   
1 oz of mushrooms chopped  
Half of a small onion, chopped   
Half of a tsp of unsalted butter   
1 tsp of flour   
a little pinch of freshly ground black pepper (optional)    
2 tsp of cream   
Half of a oz of fresh breadcrumbs   
Half of a oz of grated cheddar cheese   

Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg F/180 deg C.
Peel the artichokes and place in a saucepan with the milk and water.
Bring to the boil then simmer until tender (about 10 minutes).
Drain and reserve the cooking liquid.
Arrange the artichokes in an oven-proof dish, then top with the mushrooms and onion.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the flour.
Slowly add enough of the cooking liquid, stirring constantly, to make a thin sauce.
Add the black pepper, then pour into the oven-proof dish.
Cover and cook in the oven for 15 minutes.
Uncover, then top with the cream, breadcrumbs and grated cheese.
Cook for a further 15 minutes, then just chop and serve.