Storage & prep
Will keep for about a week
Storage: Keep in the bottom of the fridge.
Prep: Bitter and tough when raw, they need to be prepared and cooked before eating. Remove any leaves and thorny edges. Put into acidulated water (water with a squeeze of lemon) to stop them browning. Chop into 2cm crescents for gratins and braising, or 6cm batons for fritters. Boil in plenty of acidulated, salted water for 15 mins to tenderise. Drain and refresh under cold water.
Cardoons taste like a cross between celery and artichoke heart with a little bitterness thrown in for good measure. Serve this creamy, cheesy gratin golden and bubbling from the oven as a vegetarian main with grains or crusty bread and salad. A few cooked potatoes can be added to this gratin if you like before you bake it, to bulk it out a little.
Serves 4 - 1h 45 min
Cardoons work well with:
Acid – lemon juice, white wine, vinegar
Cured pork – bacon, chorizo, prosciutto
Dairy – butter, cheese, cream
Green summer veg – broad beans, green beans, peas
Herbs – bay, chervil, chives, mint, parsley, tarragon, thyme
Mushrooms and truffles
Shellfish – especially crab and prawns