Honeyed Cardoons with Pine Nuts and Thyme
The cardoons are first boiled, then sliced into small pieces and mixed with onions sauteed with fresh thyme, pine nuts, a little dry sherry and honey. It works well — so well it is one of those I-can’t-stop-eating-it dishes. Make sure to use fresh thyme, good honey and to cook the cardoons enough, as they can be overly fibrous if undercooked.
Servings: 4 people
- 1 medium onion
- 1/2 pound cardoons
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- Salt and black pepper
Trim the cardoons and boil them for 30-40 minutes in salty water with the juice of a lemon thrown in. (Here is a good overview of cleaning and prepping cardoons) This can be done up to a day ahead.
Slice the cardoons into 1/2 inch pieces. Slice the onion into half-moons. Toast the pine nuts — watch them, as pine nuts go from toasted to burnt in a heartbeat.
Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Saute the onions with some salt until just beginning to brown on the edges. Add in the cardoons and stir to combine. Let this cook for a minute or two.
Add the dry sherry. If you don’t have dry sherry, use a dry white wine. Turn the heat up to high and boil it furiously. Add the honey and stir to combine. Add the pine nuts. Let this boil down to a glaze. Turn off the heat and toss in the thyme and add some fresh ground black pepper. Toss well to combine and serve at once.