Tidings Cooking Challenge – Cardoons
The Tidings Cooking Challenge is an opportunity for food lovers to try their hand at creating something together. Not all in the same kitchen, of course. Rather, try the recipe in your own time and then come back and tell us what you thought of it. You can add your comments directly underneath the post, or send a photo of your creation to firstname.lastname@example.org.This month’s challenge really is just that. Cardoons look like giant celery stalks. Trim them of any leaves and discoloured parts. Then peel away the outer layer of stringy fibbers because they can harbour tiny, almost invisible, spines that would cause considerable pain if swallowed. Chop the stalks, drop them into a lemon-water bath so they don’t discolour, and you’re ready to go. Finding cardoons for this recipe might be difficult, but don’t give up. If the major supermarkets in your area don’t carry it, visit smaller, ethnic markets that carry Mediterranean-type vegetables; or upscale specialty stores sometimes carry more exotic fruits and vegetables.
Cardoons taste a bit like artichokes, so you can use that vegetable instead if they’re just too difficult to find.
1 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, whole
1 bunch cardoons, peeled and chopped
2 cups vegetable broth (or enough to just cover cardoons)
pinch fennel seeds
1. Blanch cardoon in boiling water for 15 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Drain, set aside.
2. Melt butter in a pan set over medium heat. When hot, add garlic clove; cook for 2 minutes. Add cardoons and fennel seeds. Stir and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Add enough vegetable broth to just cover cardoons. Simmer for 15 to 30 minutes, or until cardoons are soft and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan and a glass of Pinot Grigio.