Cardoon Gratin

Don’t be frightened! That ferocious looking celery that you see at the farmer’s market is a cardoon, a mild-tasting stalk that is served often in Mediterranean cuisine. What to do with it? The gratin below is inspired by a recipe from Alice.cardoon gratin

cardoons, about 6 stalks
olive oil
salt and pepper
lemon or vinegar
cream
chicken stock
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

  1. Prepare the pot of water that you will later use for simmering. As soon as you begin to trim a cardoon, it may change color, so you need to be ready to place it in water that is “acidulated.” (Great word, isn’t it? I intend to use it as often as possible.)  Acidulate your water with a little squeeze of lemon (or a tablespoon of vinegar.) Flavor with 2 tbls. olive oil and 1/2 tsp. salt.
  2. How to trim a cardoonTrim your cardoons. Peel off the leaves and the thickest of the strings. (This will be easier to do if your cardoons are very fresh.) Cut into about 3-inch lengths and, as you work, immediately toss the trimmed cardoons into the acidulated water.
  3. acidulatedSimmer the cardoons for 45 minutes. They should be almost tender, when you poke them with a fork.
  4. Drain and pour the cardoons into a small gratin dish. Cover halfway with chicken stock. Add salt and pepper. Stir. Fill until the cardoons are just covered with cream. Add Parmesan to the top.
  5. Bake at 375F until the top is brown, about 25 minutes.
  6. To serve as a side, scoop out cardoons with just a little bit of the liquid and plate.
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3 thoughts on “Cardoon Gratin

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