How to Care for Cardoons

The cardoon plant looks similar to the artichoke. Its stalks are edible after some prep work. A cardoon is stringy like celery but has a subtle taste like artichokes.

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Here are the cardoons growing in my garden. They are generally taller than artichoke plants.

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Earwigs and their eggs seem to like living among the stalks.

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A smaller, new shoot will have stalks that are more tender.

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Trim the leaves from each stalk.

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Here are a bunch of cardoons ready for peeling.

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Use a potato peeler or knife to remove the stringy exterior ribs.

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Then cut each stalk into pieces. Try tasting them uncooked.

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Add juice of half lemon and the lemon itself to a quart of water. The acidified bath helps prevent discoloration.

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I had some green garlic and spring onions that I added to some olive oil and sautéed.

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Then I added the cardoons, which were drained. I cooked them for less than ten minutes. I wanted them to keep their crunch.

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I tossed bread crumbs with the cardoons in a bowl and topped with grated Parmesan cheese.

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I served the cooked cardoons with a nearby vase of cardoon stalks. They were a distinctively earthy side dish.

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