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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

MoFo 2013, day 17: Cardoon

GUYS. Cardoon is weird.
It looks like a leafy vegetable but you don't eat the leaves. The stalk, much like celery, is stringy and fibrous. You strip the leaves, peel the strings (more compassionate but less fun than string cheese), wash the stalk, chop it into bite-size pieces and preserve it in lemon juice (well, unless you are going to use it right away.) After all that work, you cook the cardoon stalk until it is tender and then guess what?? It tastes terrible.
My sister lives in Spain and sent me two recipes. It is called cardo over there and translates as thistle. Apparently it's easy to find canned.
I combined both recipes, browning the marcona almonds in a pan and setting them aside and then cooking the cardoon in oil and water with garlic. To make it more of a meal, I tossed in some cooked rice and threw some raisins on top, a typical Spanish addition to cooked greens.


Looks fancy, no? TOO BAD IT SUCKED. Maybe I didn't cook the stalk long enough - some sites say it is boiled for as long as two hours - or maybe it had already started to go bad - you can see some discoloring on the stalks - or maybe I just don't like it. Cardoon is very bitter, which I am usually okay with, flavor-wise. Something about it was just off-putting. Was it the lemon I rubbed on the stalks? Is there just something deeply wrong with me? Don't answer that.
Anyway, I tried. I hate to waste food, though. Does anyone have an idea of what I can add to it? I guess just more raisins. And almonds.
Sorry, cardoon. NEXT.

31 comments:

  1. I can't look at that freakin cardoon, I just can't. I looks like it sucks and you know why, and it's you that's for sure...it's that I barf at cooked celery and this cardoon looks like the ugly cousin of fibrous cooked celery.
    Can I pick out the almonds?

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    1. I don't mind cooked celery... I used to but this is a million times worse. Never again will I complain about celery.

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    2. "it's not you!" is what I meant to say. A million time worse. Oh noooo. Nightmare on Cardoon street.

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  2. I have cardoons growing everywhere!! They are very prolific buggers, if you pick their dry flower heads and throw them in your long wet grass all winter. Who knew? They are super pretty giant thistles with lots and lots of big artichoke looking purple flowers on them. You were brave to try to make them taste good.

    xo
    kittee

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    Replies
    1. I'm sure they're beautiful...Artichokes are....but... but

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  3. wow! you took on such a challenge! Sorry it sucked so hard. It's such a bummer when you tackle a new project - heart filled with optimism - only to be beaten down with a no-good result. Sadly, this has happened to me many times too. All the same, I love that you tried something totally new. I've never even heard of Cardoon!!

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    Replies
    1. As Alanis morrisette says, You Live, You Learn. Someone else might have said that once too.

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  4. Chuck a load of hot sauce on it? I'm of the opinion that that stuff can redeem anything... Buffalo cardoon?!

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    Replies
    1. maybe. Hot sauce and fried like wingz? I just don't want to waste any precious hot sauce on them and then still have them taste gross.

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  5. I think 'weird' is a really nice word to use for cardoon, ha ha ha! Sounds hideous. It's not you, it's the cardoon. This is all good to know in case I ever see it! I feel the same way about rapini (though that might be my fault).

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    1. I was trying to be nice in case its family was reading. Rapini is good, though! Bitter isn't always bad.

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  6. Yeesh that sounds like so much work! Too bad you didn't like it, especially after you put all that work into it! I'd definitely pick out the almonds and raisins and leave the rest if that were the case. At least you can say you tried!

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    1. Yeah, I actually saved the almonds and raisins for last so I could end on a high note but maybe that screwed me over - if I had better distributed them with each bite, maybe it would have tasted ok.

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  7. Damn you, cardoon. For being such a freaky vegetable you might as well taste good. But then again, I feel the same way about celery. Maybe I'm just anti-stalk?

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    Replies
    1. I can see why one might be anti-stalk.

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  8. I've never even heard of cardoon. But if you don't like it, I bet I wouldn't like it. I do like celery, but not really cooked (unless chopped into tiny pieces and saueeted with onions as the base of a soup or something).

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  9. At this point I think what you need is a dog who will eat anything. Or a compost pile. Or a friend with a compost pile. I've composted many a kitchen mishap, and figured it wasn't really wasted if I made it into compost. If all else fails, chuck it. You did your best. :D

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    Replies
    1. Oh, compost actually sounds like the best idea. I wouldn't force this on a dog.

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  10. oh bummer! i'm sorry it didn't pan out the way you were hoping...looks pretty though!

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  11. Guess what? You're allowed to not like every single foodstuff out there! Hurrah! Go eat some chocolate instead! Hurrah!

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  12. I was about to leave my condolences as well, till I saw the above onslaught of sympathy. Now I'm just as bitter as an under-cooked Cardoon stalk in Queens. I ODed on Cupcake Frosting on Saturday and nobody gave two sh*ts. The internet is not my friend.

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    1. You gotta really complain loudly and multiple times. I'm a pro. maybe a photo of yrself passed out with frosting around yr mouth would have helped.

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  13. ...but they're so dang photogenic!!

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  14. What?! Your sister lives in Spain?!

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    Replies
    1. Yep, she teaches English there! She's been in Cadiz the last year, but she'll be moving North this year from what I hear.

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