What Can You Do Do Do With a Cardoon?
Yesterday, Sarah DiGregorio provided a guide to the vegetables commonly available at this time of the year in local farmers' markets. Today, here's a report on a vegetable that was harder to find: cardoon.
Known as cardoni in Italy, this stalky and leafy vegetable is much appreciated in Spain, France, and Italy, where it can be found growing wild. In fact, it looks like a weed, with a taste that the Food Lover's Companion describes as "a cross between celery, artichoke, and salsify."
The vegetable grows from late winter to early spring, and the specimens I scored at the Union Square stall of Gorzynski Ornery Farm, from Narrowsburg, NY, were inexpensive at $2.50 for a big bunch. They were also a little bitter, ruling out eating them raw, like celery.
Next: Recipe for cardoon gratin