If you’ve never eaten a cardoon, think artichoke stalks, which is essentially what they are. Cardoons are a little work to prepare, but baked with Italian cheeses they are lovely.
I call this recipe thistle soup. Little pheasant meatballs in a clear pheasant broth served with artichoke hearts and cardoons. It is a lovely light dinner or lunch in springtime. And don’t worry if you don’t have cardoons, you can skip them.
Cardoons are an old relative of the artichoke, tasting like a mash-up of artichoke hearts, celery and endive. They can be tricky to work with, so when I found a recipe for cardoon risotto I had to try it.
It is a good thing that growing cardoons is a low-maintenance endeavor. For months I have watched them sprouting like fountains in my garden, and with only fleeting thoughts I’ve pondered how to eat them. You see, cardoons require some work to prepare: You need to trim the spines, peel the fibers and boil them