Behold the cardoon leaf!
The green matter must be removed from the leaf - it is the midrib that is eaten.
Behold the cardoon midrib!
Now you must peel the outer side of the midrib - it is sort of like celery in that it has stringy fibers.
Fibers removed, chop into 2 inch pieces and boil in a salty water bath for 30 minutes until it is fork-tender. Drain and then commence with recipe!
- cardoon (about eight 2" pieces)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup Chicken Stock
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup grated gruyere
- Place cream, stock, and bay leaf in a large saucepan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Wash cardoons, then remove and discard tough outer stalks. Peel off stringy fibers. Cut cardoons into 1 ½"–2" pieces, placing them immediately into cream mixture as you go, to prevent them from discoloring.
- Bring cream mixture to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until cardoons are tender, about 1 hour. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cardoon pieces to individual gratin dishes (or a 1-quart baking dish).
- Preheat oven to 350°. Reduce cream mixture to about ¾ cup over medium heat, about 30 minutes. Discard bay leaf and divide reduced sauce equally between gratin dishes, sprinkle gruyère on top, and bake until golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes.
- prepared cardoon (about six 3” pieces)
- 2-1/3 c. risotto rice (arborio or carnaroli)
- 1 quart hot chicken or veggie broth
- 2/3 c. dry white wine
- 2 T. butter
- 1 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 T. olive oil
- Prepare cardoons (blanch in salt water, see other recipe). Once prepared, drain and blot dry on paper towels. Chop into bite-sized pieces. Heat olive oil in pan on low-medium heat. Add chopped garlic and cardoon to pan. Cook slowly on back burner - do not cook on high enough heat to brown garlic!
- Meanwhile, make risotto. Place hot broth in saucepan on a back burner and keep at a low simmer.
- Melt half the butter in a large heavy saucepan and add the onion. Cook gently for 10 minutes until onion is translucent, but not browned. Add the rice and stir until well-coated with the buttery onions and heated through. Pour in the wine and boil hard until it has reduced and almost disappeared.
- Turn down to low and begin adding the broth, one ladle at a time, stirring gently until each ladle has almost been absorbed by the rice. Cook this way until rice is tender and creamy, about 20 minutes. Taste and season well with salt and pepper. Stir in remaining butter and parmesan. Cover and let rest for a couple of minutes. Before serving, loosen risotto with a little more broth, then ladle onto plates.
- Top with garlicky cardoons and a little more grated parmesan. Enjoy!