Chicken Sausage and Cardoon Sauté

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by Chris on October 22, 2011

nuovo arrivo/new arrival

Confession. I am an Italian who only recently learned about cardoons. Car-what? Cardoons. A celery-looking veggie Tami shared with me, I left one home (hers) and returned to my home, excited and stumped. What the heck is a cardoon? “Oh, Google!” Searchy searchy and I learned a little something.

A cardoon is a thistle vegetable, a prickly, greenish vegetable with the tough exterior, available during the winter months, November until January. Kin to the artichoke, it really and truly looks and tastes like celery. Leaves and all. But, when cooked (and it is only eaten when cooked), the green vegetable tastes just like an artichoke. Really. Trust me; I was confused because my eyes saw one thing when I tried the cardoon while and my taste buds were encountering a completely different experience.

But, if you come across cardoons in the market, what do you do? When perusing cardoons at the market, grab hold of the small, crunchy bunch with green, plump stalks. Avoid the moldy, wilted or spongy cardoon. Once home, store a cardoon in the refrigerator, unwashed, for 2-3 days. When ready to use, clean the stalks using a peeler to remove any tough, outer strings. Lemon juice or vinegar assists in limiting discoloration, thwarting oxidation.

Wanting to preserve my cardoon’s brilliance, I went simple.  I boiled, sauteed, and added a protein. The end result worked as my dinner and lunch for a couple of days.

Have you used cardoons?  If so, what do you do with them?


Other Cardoon Creations:

Susan from The Well-Seasoned Cook is hosting this week’s edition of Weekend Herb Blogging, and I think this falls right into place. As do the other Cardoon recipes I found, including:

Cooking with Amy – Cardoon Gratin
You Grow Girl – Cardoon Gratin
Cook Italy – Golden Fried Cardoon
Over a Tuscan Stove – Meatless Meatballs
The Kitchn – Braised Cardoons

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