Cardoon stewed in olive oil

10 Jan

This is a rich, tasty little dish of cardoon stalks stewed in olive oil with garlic, white onions and anchovies. It is a delightful vegetable in its own right, very popular in the Languedoc region, but deserves to be better known elsewhere. It is normally a winter vegetable and traditionally eaten during the Christmas period. The texture of cardoon is closest to celery and the taste is slightly bitter with a nutty Jerusalem artichoke kind of flavour.

  • 5 or 6 stalks of Cardoon
  • Olive oil
  • white wine (optional)
  • 4 anchovies (optional)
  • 1 onion blanc
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • parsley
  • chicken stock or water

Wash the cardoons and carefully peel off the tough outer skin. Cut into bite size pieces. Drop into a pan of boiling water or chicken stock and boil for 15 minutes, drain and reserve cooking liquor. Meanwhile peel and slice the garlic and white onions finely. Chop the anchovies and mince the parsley. Take a pan, large enough to accommodate the cardoon, and cover the bottom in olive oil, I use a lot as I like to mop up the juices with bread. Add the anchovies and cook slowly until they start to disintegrate, add the garlic and onions and after one minute add a splash of wine then add the cardoon and a cup of the cooking liquor. Cover and stew slowly in the olive oil juices for 15-30 minutes until the cardoon are tender. Stir in the chopped parsley and serve.

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