Cardoon buds and yes, they should be eaten!

DSC03960DSC039522015-01-23 - Cardoon in Blompot2015-01-23 - Cardoon Flowers 2


Mrs BYF is fanatical about not wasting any food that the garden produces. Her attitude has resulted in many memorable dishes ranging from fantastic, better that any world class restaurant, etc. etc., to (seldom, I might add) never to be attempted again, EVER!

I was going to let the cardoon buds flower, because the bees love them, and ‘they’ say that only the stems should be eaten, but Mrs BYF commanded me to “bring them in!”.  After all the cardoons grow so well in Dunedin and my plants were well over 3 meters high with lots of flowers. They were all boiled in a big pot of water, with a squeeze of lemon and some salt, then peeled, chokes removed and the hearts put under oil.  The taste and texture of the hearts proved to be  sensational, perhaps a bit more starchy, at the same time almost creamy, than artichokes. We eat them as antipasto or on panini with  roast bell peppers (peperoni) and fried eggplant (melanzane). The real taste of Italy in Dunedin. Unbelievable !

Just to take the non wastage policy a bit further, Mrs BYF used the inedibles for  a lovely vegetable arrangement of rosemary, flowering cardoon and  fennel fronds. The cardoon flowers are beautiful and, surprisingly, sweet smelling.

4 thoughts on “Cardoon buds and yes, they should be eaten!

  1. Pingback: Miniature Feed Mixing Plant for Health and Profit | Back Yard Farmer

  2. I am SO going to have to find cardoons someplace here! I have 10 pots of globe artichokes growing now and think I need to add cardoons to that mix. I adore artichokes and cardoons promise to be just as delicious. Thank you for this explanation for how to use almost all of them 🙂

    • We love artichokes, and have not really used cardoon that often before, but since it grows so well in Dunedin, we had to explore more avenues and found it exiting. The plants just take the garden over – I have plants over 3 meters high and a diameter of over 2 meters and nothing grows under it. So next year I am going to plant them in a different spot – not so close to my normal vegetable garden – I probably need 4 acres like you !!

      • The best thing about artichokes is that nothing much likes them so long as you protect the tender base (I use a few tyres stacked on top of each other) so I can plant them out in the garden. I am going to buy some cardoon seed as I think I need them here. Lovely to be able to eat the entire stem! Very frugal veggie and cheers for sharing the recipe for the buds 🙂

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