Cardoon

Description

The Cardoon is a wild plant with purple, thistle-like flowers and a thick leafy stalk. It is a close cousin of the artichoke and popular in Mediterranean style cooking. Its stalk is similar to a celery stalk and has a unique, sweet, nutty flavor.

Buy It

Choose straight, rigid cardoon stalks with fresh leaves. Avoid pithy, woody ot limp stalks. Should smell fresh, not musty.

Store It

Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Cook It

The edible portion of a Cardoons is the stalk. Cut off the leaves or thorns and peel the stalks to remove the thick outer skin. To blanch, chop the remaining stalk into pieces and cook it in boiling water for about 20 minutes or until they are tender. Drain and use readied pieces in recipes or store in the refrigerator for future use. Cardoons can also be baked, braised, boiled in soups or stews, roasted or sautéed. The cardoon root can also be used and is often boiled and served cold in salads.

Why It's Great

Fat free, saturated free, cholesterol free, sodium free, and a good source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, copper, and folate.

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