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Nov 30, 2006 09:17 PM

Cardoons were $1.39/lb. Anyone have recipes?

Got some beautiful carduna at the market today, want to do something besides fry them for bagna cauda. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

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  1. No recipe, but I loved the cardoon gratin a friend served at a dinner party. Think it had some amaretti crumbs sprinkled on top.

    1. String them, blanch them. Make a bechamel, then add lots of Grueyre or Fontina. Stir in the cardoons. Bake until crusty. Yum! You are so lucky to get this veggie! I've only scored this twice here in the U.S. I don't understand why no one grows this tasty plant.

      5 Replies
      1. re: pikawicca

        Because it is usually very, very bitter and bitterness is a foreign taste for most Americans?

        1. re: Atahualpa

          American cardoons tend to be more bitter than European, according to vegetable references I have read.

        2. re: pikawicca

          We get them here all the time (especially around Christmas) in downstate New York. My husband's uncle also used to pick them on the side of the parkway on his way home and fry them up; then again they used to fry tiger lily blossoms and call them sqaush flowers, so who knows what they were!

          1. re: coll

            This can't be the same guy!!!My grandmother had a "suitor" after my grandfather passed away. Though he never was sucessful getting past the friends stage with her. He would also stop and pick Cardoon at roadside. She made them the way she'd make fried eggplant. (Coat in flour, dip in beaten egg and romano cheese batter, then fried in olive oil.) I thought he was a "cult of one" though cause who else would pick Cardoon at the side of the road? And now its nice to know he wasn't the only one.

        3. Yay cardoons! Where did you find them?

          -Slice them and simmer in chicken soup.
          -Bread them, saute and make a simple sandwich
          -Make a torta (basically an Italian quiche)


          1 Reply
          1. re: shindiganna

            Pioneer supermarket in NYC, but as other posters note, around Christmas they are fairly common in downstate NY-- especially in Italian and mixed European neighborhoods.

          2. Batali "stuffed" them with chicken livers, covered them in tomato sauce and baked them.

            1 Reply
            1. re: HaagenDazs

              The babbo website has some good cardoon recipes.

            2. Cardoons (cardo) is a typical dish at Christmastime here in Spain (kind of the Spanish equivalent of that ubiquitous green bean casserole in the US). I've seen lots of different variations with almonds or pine nuts, clams, etc. Here's one recipe that I have:

              Clean the cardos well, then cut into pieces. Put cut pieces in water with a bit of lemon. Cook them in salted water (a "suave" boil) until they are tender. Save a bit of the water (that would be cardo liquor, I guess).

              In a frying pan, put a little olive oil (in Spain this means a good glug-glug) and fry two garlic cloves (sliced). Add a tablespoon (or more) of flour. Just before it browns, put several glug-glugs of milk (you're making a bechamel, so you can adjust the quantities of the oil, flour and milk according to how many cardoons you have). Cook for a few minutes while it thickens. Thin it a bit with the cardo water (if desired). Add salt to taste. Add pine nuts or toasted slivered/ground marcona almonds and the cardoons. Cook together for five minutes (on the stove or in a preheated oven).

              Cardoons are supposed to be very good for your liver.