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Cardone (also know as Burdock), Vegetable of the week

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The best thing that has resulted in my rotator cuff surgery is that my Mom came up from Virginia to take care of me during during the 1st weeks after surgery. Surgery was exactly 3 weeks ago and Mom will be going back home probably on Thursday. I have spent some great quality time with my Mom including Mother's Day and of course since I really still can't cook yet or even do the Raw 100% yet my Mom has been spoiling me with all of the cooking.

My Mom is 100% Italian or Sicilian to be exact. One of my favorite vegetables is considered a delicacy in Europe (also our house because we would eat it up as fast as our mother fried it in Italian bread crumbs, garlic, parmesan cheese, parsley, and olive oil) but for the most part Americans just think it is a weed by the roadside. Cardone is a cousin of the Artichoke, also known as Cardoon is grown for its edible stalks, much like Celery. However, Cardone is not eaten raw. It is also known as Burdock. It is grown in the Mediterranean regions of Europe and here in the US it is grown in California. , it is deep fried, sautéed, or steamed for salads. If you are lucky you can find it growing wild by the roadside or hillside. Just be careful because a lot of times it grows side by side to poison ivy. I remember every time we went to visit a cousin in Pennsylvania we would always have cardone for dinner plus bring a ton home as it grew profusely on a hill next to her house.

Here is the nutritional breakdown of cardone:

Cardone is a powerhouse full of vitamins and minerals. Go to this link for the individual breakdown of each and what that vitamin or mineral does for your body:

Here is a good video that shows how to prepare cardone:

Here is a very basic recipe to fry the Cardone

1 or 2 bunches of cardones
4-5 eggs
bread crumbs or flour
fresh minced garlic
fresh minced parsley
parmesan cheese

Clean the stalks like you would celery and take off all stringy parts. (your hands may turn black) wash them real good.
In a large kettle bring salted water (1 Tbsp) salt to a boil. then begin to put the cardones in starting with the outer stems first (because they are tougher then the inner part, which is more tender)
Cook until you can poke through with a fork.
Then drain water and let cool in the colander.
While they are cooling start making your breading batter.
In a large mixing bowl start with eggs, beaten.
In another bowl add bread crumbs or flour with the rest of the ingredients
Dredge in eggs first then batter mixture
In a large deep skillet heat oil (you should have enough oil in the skillet for frying (½ full)).
When you got a batter begin to dip and then fry till golden brown on both sides.
Serve warm (in our house they never get cold because we eat them faster than Mom can make them. emoticon

Cardone Frittata

1 bunch cardoon
1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 to 3 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons Romano cheese

Clean and wash cardoon thoroughly, cut into 2" pieces. Boil until tender, drain well. Put olive oil in fry pan, add 1 clove garlic sauté a few minutes, remove garlic. Add cardoon and sauté about 10 minutes. Mix eggs, parsley, cheese, salt and pepper. Pour mixture over cardoon. Fry as an omelette then flip, using a round dinner plate, to brown on other side. Cut in wedges. Makes 1 - 2 servings.

Baked Cardone

Link for recipe:

Cardone Gratin

2 lbs cardoon thorn removed, cut into medium chunks and placed in water with sliced lemons
butter to grease the baking dish
1 1/2 cup unflavored breadcrumbs
4 - 5 cups bechamel sauce (see recipe)
1 1/1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Emmenthaller
salt and freshly ground black pepper
First cook the cardoon. Place the cardoon in a pot with hot boiling water, lemon wedges and a pinch of salt and cook until tender (about 1 hour). Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400° F.
Drain the cardoon.
Grease a baking dish and dust it with breadcrumbs.
Drizzle the bottom of the dish with a pretty liquid bechamel sauce, then arrange the cooked cardoon chunks on top.
Dust with cheese and breadcrumbs and drizzle with additional bechamel sauce. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Bake for 20 minutes or until you have a golden crunchy crust.
Serves: 4 - 6

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    emoticon OMG those look so good I haven't tried them at all I think I just have to.

    I love the baked and the fried spears of it. Yummmy!

    Does it taste like Celery or Artichoke?

    2572 days ago
  • MARTY728
    2573 days ago
    How interesting. IF I can find it, will try it. Is it considered a Fresh Market item, organic? Actually, I have never heard of it but love to try new recipes.

    Glad you had such quality time with your mom. I can only imagine how much she loved being able to take care of you (her little girl)! emoticon
    2573 days ago
    thank you for the recipes I shall look out for it!
    2574 days ago
  • WILLOW49
    Glad your recovery is going well and that you enjoyed time with your mom. Hope she has a safe trip home.
    2574 days ago
    Cardone; another new one on me! Thanks for the intro. Looks delish. Breaded and fried or baked with cheese, what's not to like?
    Thanks, Mom, for taking good care of our Sparkfriend emoticon
    Have a safe trip home!
    2574 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
    great to hear you are recovering well so far...
    great recipe share once again,,,
    blessings and hugs.....lita
    2574 days ago
    As usual, your recommendations hit the spot. I hope I can find it. Glad you are well enough, for your mom to feel she can go! emoticon
    2574 days ago
    OMG do you you bring back childhood memories. My Mom used to make Cardone at holidays. emoticon
    2574 days ago
    Thank you for the interesting recipes. I think I have heard of cardone before but I have no idea when or how long ago. They look like a very good thing to try as a surprise appetizer next time I host a party.

    Hope you get better soon and I hope you earned your points by adding these recipes to the spark recipe data base. emoticon

    I look forward to seeing what you come up with next.
    2574 days ago
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