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Cardone (aka 'Cardoon' italian vegetable that tastes similar to artichoke)? Anyone have a recipe?

So, I'm shopping in my Shoprite today (day before Easter), and they have this beautiful looking vegetable that I have never seen. I examined it to determine what it is, but could only find a veg tag saying Cardone and Ocean Mist. So I ask the produce guy what it was. He tells me it is Cardone (pronounced Car-dough-nay). How embarrassing, I thought Cardone was the brand name. I figured what the hay, let's try something new, that I never heard of, I'll find a recipe. I get home and start my google search and find very little. One site said it is the stalk that an artichoke grows on; one says it is considered a weed in some countries? The Ocean Mist site only had two formal recipes and then I found this guy on Youtube showing a video of how he cooks it (like the Italian Mama), but my God, the video is so boring and slow to watch and he didn't trim the ends. He didn't salt the water or use any seasoning in his flour at all or even after, just a bit of garlic in the oil. He sounds like he's a New Yorker, but he talks at the speed of someone from Maine or something. And no fast forward button. I've read on it and says it can be bitter if not soaked in salted water overnight. If anyone knows of another way to cook this interesting veg beside breaded and fried, in a quiche or in a gratin, please let me know asap. I'll write back too after I cook it.

Here's a pic from the Oceanmist site: http://www.oceanmist.com/products/car...

And here's the long-winded Youtube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvGzZS...

Another article: http://shizuokagourmet.wordpress.com/...

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  1. I googled "cardoon recipe" and got over 1000 links - stewed, fried, braised, you name it. There's even one right here on Chow:

    http://www.chow.com/recipes/13567

    1 Reply
    1. re: small h

      My bad. I did only google Cardone (the name on the actual veg label) and even did a search on CH before I posted this. Sorry!

    2. Usually it's peeled, cut into pieces, boiled in water and then deep fried, at least in my husband's family. His uncle called them "road weed" and used to pick them along the highway on his way home from work (he had a secret spot).

      1. Cardoons are delicious, particularly the way coll mentions. It's like deep fried artichoke hearts. Yum. You probably searched cardone and not cardoon. Use it the way you would use an artichoke heart, though I've also had them au gratin, and they were delicious.

        1. I like cardone in clear soups.

          When dividing up your aromatics, use half (or a quarter) what you normally would of the celery and replace the remaining half (or three quarters) with cardone. So, now your mirepoix is going to consist of carrots, onions, celery, and cardone all with delicious results.

          1. The peeling part is interesting because I didn't peel mine nor did the recipe I used suggest it. I only had to remove a few extra very small leaves that sort of unstrung from the sides. I ended up making the basic au gratin, and the folks at our Easter dinner raved about it. I just thought it was OK but I would like to try them breaded and fried next time. The flavor was very familiar--definitely similar to artichoke. And the most annoying part was the recipe had me braise them covered in a baking pan in chicken broth "until tender, about 15 minutes" Well, it took mine almost an hour to get fork tender, so perhaps it was because I hadn't peeled them or maybe they weren't very fresh, but they looked beautiful and crispy and fresh to me when I bought them. I had to soak them overnight in salted water. Then braise them covered in 350 oven until tender, then sprinkle with swiss cheese and then flavored panko and finally drizzed with olive oil and baked until golden. It was refreshing to try something new to us.

            5 Replies
            1. re: cheereeo

              Yes, I'd bet not peeling them was the issue with them not wanting to break down. I think 15 minutes is optimistic, but they don't normally take an hour.

              However, are you saying that the fibers WILL eventually become edible if cooked long enough? If that's true, then I'm going to try that next time. Cardoons are definitely the most difficult vegetable to peel that I know of.

              1. re: dmd_kc

                And what happens to me when I peel them is that they turn my fingers black!

                  1. re: cheereeo

                    Well, apparently not. I was just looking on a Sicilian cooking website, and in their instructions for preparing cardoons, they say to wear rubber gloves to avoid staining your hands!

              2. re: cheereeo

                I've seen a newer improved cardoon that is less fibrous, you may have gotten some of those.

              3. I've been getting into Britain's "Two Fat Ladies" recently, watching their TV show on DVD, browsing through their books, etc. One of the ladies, Clarissa Wright Dickson (the surviving one, actually), credits the cardoon for her career, saying it was an interview in which she was trying to get Britain back into the habit of eating cardoons that led to her being hired for the TV show.

                Their last book together, "Two Fat Ladies: Obsessions", has a whole section of cardoon recipes. It's out of print, but I found it at the library.

                1. I loved those two ladies--Clarissa and Jennifer. It's funny that Clarissa is the one who survived. Jennifer did always seem so much more daring and adventurous driving that motorcycle and all with those goggles on, while Clarissa was in the "death seat."

                  And regarding the peeling, I'm not sure. I did use the gratin recipe that was from the Ocean Mist site in the first link of my thread, so I would assume the grower would know if they had to be peeled or not. There was never a mention of peeling in any of their recipes, but I did salt and soak overnight per their suggestion.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: cheereeo

                    I never salt and soak, so maybe that softens them up somewhat so that peeling isn't necessary.

                    1. re: cheereeo

                      I know what you mean. But I've been watching the show now with the benefit of hindsight, and it's been interesting. While Jennifer gave the impression of being more active because she drove the motorcycle, Clarissa was always the one who would wade into tide pools or try her hand at fishing in a river while Jennifer sat in a chair on the shore. And I think on some levels Clarissa may have been taking better care of herself at that point. Jennifer was a heavy smoker (she died of lung cancer), while Clarissa didn't smoke or drink (she was/is in recovery). Plus, though I didn't find it obvious, Jennifer was almost 20 years older than Clarissa.

                      Regarding cardoons, I've returned that book to the library, but my recollection is that while they said cardoons are related to artichokes and therefore taste similar, you are eating the stalks, and therefore preparation is similar to celery. In fact, I recall it said that if you don't have cardoons available, you could effectively substitute celery in the recipe (if you were willing to go with the change in flavor).

                    2. There is a Sicilian cooking web site that has a recipe for cardoon salad as well as a section on preparing and cooking cardoons:

                      http://siciliancookingplus.com/salads...

                      1. I fix cardone,the real Italian way,which is . First you have to boil the heck out of it until tender. It takes a up to 2 hrs to get it tender. Make sure you first cut the bottom off and any bad brown spots if any. Take the middle out and throw away. Cut the long pieces in half,then boil. When tender take out and put on paper towels to dry well. Flatten them down if they tend to curl. Set up a bowl of eggs mixed and a paper towel with breadcrumbs on it. You dip the pieces into the egg mixture,then into the breadcrumbs. You have to have a lg. frying pan with olive oil in it. It takes alot of olive oil for this. Put at least a inch deep in pan. Heat the oil,then put each strip into the pan to deepfry. After they are down, spinkle with Romano Cheese or Parmesan.This is my fathers receipe and it is very good.