Mystery vegetable

This is not a celery.

It is a cardone, which grower Ocean Mist is proud to tell me is an Italian favorite, although I’d never heard of it until I found it next to the leeks at the grocer. It’s supposed to be related to an artichoke, but it looks like the happy marriage of a celery and an aloe plant and tastes like bitter greens. Ocean Mist suggests brining it to get rid of the bitter, but I tried a piece raw and I didn’t think brining did anything terribly interesting to it. I like bitter greens undiminished and unadulterated, so your mileage may vary on that direction.

The brined version, getting a quick saute.

Unbrined as part of a ‘salad’ of nuked veggies. The brined got discolored, too, so I suppose treating it like chard and giving it a little lemon juice would work on the aesthetics, but I don’t mind discolored chard, either.


2 thoughts on “Mystery vegetable

  1. The juice of the cardone (cardoon seems to me to be the more common English spelling) is slightly alkaline, thus accounting for the slightly bitter taste. In this quality it can be treated like eggplant, viz. sprinkle cut ends with salt, allow to sit for about 30 mins, rinse. This step can be omitted if cooking in an acid such as tomatoes or wine. Generally, the larger, older plants, which can be quite large are the more bitter.

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