Experiements in my cold valley so far have not been kind to the plush, famously edible thistles like cardoon and artichoke. Some of my clients are in better positions, and so far have enjoyed lovely silver fountains of leaves and gorgeous purple flowers off this wonderful plant. The question now is how to cook it (?). Wooddogs3 to the rescue with a very detailed description of the process. Let me know how it goes.
It took me a long time to learn to eat cardoons. My own cardoons, at least. I first found them in the market while honeymooning in Italy, and there they are neatly blanched, trimmed, and ready for the pot. I loved them, and ordered seeds from Italy as soon as I got home. They grow robustly in my desert climate and alkaline soil, and they are very ornamental. I had them for years before I successfully cooked them, and they were wonderful bee fodder all that time, blooming in the blasting-hot late summer when few other flowers are available to our pollinators. I tried to cook them without the tedious step of blanching the plants, and would say that this just doesn’t work.
They die back unattractively after flowering, but then sprout again from the ground up. The foliage is silvery, full, and stunning in November. Unfortunately this is also…
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