Sunday, March 7, 2010

On the menu: Cardoon Cuddling

Ah, the cardoon.  So unearthly. So underused/appreciated.  
Perhaps because it appears too primitive, 
too challenging?  This is so not so.

Simply trim, cut, blanch...  

layer with other scrumptious things,

then fire in a hot oven.

Fussy recipes will have you pull the ribs from larger stalks, but I've never found the them to be a problem
 if  thoroughly cooked. 

You can think of cardoons as an artichoke/celery hybrid, but in truth their fine flavor is distinct: peppery green with butter edges, nutty turns, and just the slightest hit of astringency. Even its lush leaves are strangely fragrant, a tad skunky,
but in the good way.   

Caught, red-handed, snuggling a bunch...

Cardoon, Melted Onion, Thyme Gratin
Sea salt
2 pounds of cardoons
1 lemon
Freshly ground pepper
Olive oil
2 yellow onions, peeled and sliced lengthwise into 1/4 - inch strips
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 cup grated parmesan
2 tablespoons picked thyme
1 cup cream
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
3 tablespoons butter
Fill a large pot with water and bring to the boil.  Add enough salt to make it taste like the sea. 
Squeeze the lemon into a bowl big enough to hold cardoons. Trim cardoons, cut into 3-inch lengths and toss in the lemon juice as you go.  Add cardoons to the boiling  water, reduce heat to simmer, and cook until tender, about 45 minutes.  Drain and spread on a sheet pan to cool.    
In the meantime, heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat for a minute, add the olive oil. When hot add the onions and a good pinch of salt and grinding of pepper.  Sauté until the onions are melted, about 10 minutes.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.  
Heat cream and stock in a medium sauce pan until hot.  Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 375.  Evenly layer cardoons, onions, 3/4 cup cheese and 1-1/2 tablespoons thyme in a gratin dish, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper as you go, and finishing with a layer of cardoons. You will have 3 or 4 layers.  Pour over warm cream/stock, and sprinkle with remaining cheese and thyme.  Dot with butter.  Bake 45 minutes, until tender, bubbling and golden.    

1 comment:

都一樣 said...

很喜歡你的部落格風格,期待你的更新! ..................................................