What does a cardoon taste like?

Found in the wild along the Mediterranean, from Morocco and Portugal to Libya and Croatia, a cardoon is a thistle that tastes like a bitter version of a giant artichoke with small, prickly flower heads. But unlike an artichoke, you eat the stems, not the flower buds.

Are cardoons like celery?

The stalks of cardoons look like giant celery, but they need to be pared and cleaned before they’re cooked. Be very careful of the prickles that may be on the leaves and edges of the stalks.

Are cardoons good for you?

Cardoons are a nutrient-rich vegetable. They contain protein, fiber, carbohydrates, calcium, potassium, and vitamins C, B5, also known as pantothenic acid, and B9 or folic acid. Cardoons also contain iron, contributing to the health benefits of the vegetable.

Where can I find cardoons?

Look for cardoons at your local farmers market, upscale grocery stores, or Italian markets. Though cardoons are often thought of as a winter vegetable, you should still be able to find them into early summer. Pick cardoons that feel firm — they won’t be as firm as celery, but avoid stalks that are soft and spongey.

What is the difference between artichoke and cardoon?

Physical Differences Both possess silvery foliage and violet, thistle-like flowers, although artichokes produce larger flower buds with a tighter, more globular shape and less pronounced spines. Also, cardoons possess a rangier, less tidy growth habit, although both plants grow to roughly 3 to 5 feet in height.

How do you peel cardoon?

Trim both ends of cardoon stalks. Using a paring knife, shave the edges of each stalk, making sure to remove those tiny spikes; and peel off the large protruding ribs (as you would a celery stalk). Watch out for the tiny spikes along each stalk — they are very prickly!

How do you grow cardoon?

Grow cardoon in full sun; cardoon will tolerate partial shade. Plant cardoon in well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Prepare beds in advance with aged compost. Cardoon prefers a soil pH of 6.0 to 7.0.

How do you clean and cook Cardone?

Fill a large heavy-bottom pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the balance of lemon juice and salt. Drain the cardoon pieces and add them to the boiling water. Boil for 15 to 20 minutes until just tender, but still a bit firm.

Where do cardoons grow?

Native to the Mediterranean, cardoon plants (Cynara cardunculus) are now found in dry grassy areas of California and Australia, where it is considered a weed. Originally cultivated in southern Europe as a vegetable, growing cardoon was brought to the American kitchen garden by the Quakers in the early 1790’s.

How do you harvest cardoon?

Harvesting & Eating Cardoons To harvest the blanched cardoon stems, unwrap them and cut the entire clump of leaf stems off at ground level. Trim the leaf blades from the top of the stems and toss them onto the compost pile. Take the soft, succulent stems into the kitchen and get ready to cook.