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Nov 5, 2007 01:49 PM

Help! just bought cardone for the first time.... [moved from San Francisco board]

I happened to find some cardone at Vallergas Market in Napa. I've been told it tastes like artichoke hearts if properly prepared and it only comes in once a year. If I understand correctly, I need to peel it and soak it in acidified water, then simmer it? And after it simmers, I can cook with it - bake it, fry it, whatever? So, how long do I cook it and do I peel the whole thing or just pull the stringy stuff off?

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  1. Do you mean cardoon?

    When I've prepared it (cardoons) in the past, I scrubbed them, then peeled the stringy side and cut into chunks and braised it in garlic, olive oil and a little chicken stock just till tender. I don't remember exactly how long it took, but depending on the size of your pieces, prob ~20 min. I just test it with a fork (or bite into a piece). It tastes like a cross between artichoke hearts and celery. Very good. I liked it so much as it (simply prepared) that I never got around to incorporating it into any other recipes.

    Hope this helps. Enjoy!

    2 Replies
    1. re: chemchef

      Yes, cardoons. Ok, so you peel the outside - the stringy side, but not the inside? and you don't have to use acidified water? Does it turn dark like artichokes if you don't cook it with lemon? What size do you cut your pieces into? I was also thinking of keeping it simple, so I can get the flavor. I've never eaten any. Thanks!

      1. re: hi standards

        IIRC, I did use acidulated water b/c, yes, it does turn dark like artichokes. I usually just put the pieces into lemon water once they're cut and peeled then dump that water into the pot and add a little more if needed along with garlic and olive oil. I do not remember peeling the inner part of the stem, but you should be able to tell once you start working with it whether it will be tough or not. I cut my pieces into about maybe 3-4 inch chunks, but it doesn't have to be exact. You can just cut the stalks into quarters or something, whatever is convenient and will fit in the pot you're using.

        Report back and let us know how they were!

    2. Since you're in N.California you might already know of this site, but they have recipes for nearly every vegetable imaginable! Here is a link to some cardoon recipes:

      1 Reply
      1. re: sarahbartos

        Ah, I was just going to suggest a gratin and the website above actually has a recipe for it!

      2. Thanks for the helpful answers. I think I'm going to try a gratin. I think this will be interesting!

        1. Hey all, thanks for the suggestions - I made a gratin and it turned out great! The flavor of cardoon or cardoni is interesting, similar to an artichoke heart, but a little milder. It does hold it's own tho in a gratin. My husband really liked it. The peeling was also interesting. The larger stalks were pretty straight forward, mostly getting off the leaves and stringy stuff, the inner stalks are way more tender and you need to peel both sides - the inner stalks are covered with a thin, white membrane that comes off pretty readily. The smell when you peel the stalks is amazing, like inhaling the essence of artichoke. I may try them again in a saute.