Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cardoons

We managed to make it to the farmers markets at the Collingwood Children's Farm this weekend. I love the farmers market, partly because I can buy potatoes by variety from the lady who grows them and knows lots about them, and partly because I can also find the occasional weird thing that I would never see in a greengrocer (even a good one!). Like these.
These odd stalky-looking things are cardoons. Cardoons are similar to artichokes in flavour, and they're also both thistles, but cardoons are the stem rather than the flower. A chat with the grower gave me an idea of what was involved in their preparation, and a flick through a few recipe books when I got home found a helpful section in Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book. Basically, you peel off the outside stringy bits and simmer them in acidulated (lemon juicy) water until tender. You can then do whatever you like with them, like fry them in olive oil and garlic, crumb them and turn them into cardoon chips, roast them in the oven sprinkled with parmesan... In my daughter's words: Um-num-num-num...

This week's menu plan:
Monday: Roasted fennel, cardoon and olive pasta (and it was good, too! Cardoons really are rather yummy)
Tuesday: Pumpkin & feta fritters (a sleep-deprived parent and child meant this one didn't happen. Pizza anyone?)
Wednesday: Coq au vin (Masterchef mag #4, p. 118, hoping the leftovers will kick-start the freezer stocking process that might get us through the first few weeks of dual parenthood...)
Thursday: Out
Friday: Salmon, chickpea and lemon frittata (Masterchef #4, p. 48)
Saturday: Beef bourguignon (from freezer)
Sunday: Soup (from freezer)

Hopefully the menu plan will be more indicative of what we're actually eating for the rest of this week...

4 comments:

Amanda said...

oooh so is it like a artichoke heart??? Never seen these at any of our farmers markets but would love to try them out. Do tell what you think :)

becclebee said...

i love the collingwood children's farm farmers market too. i love the potato lady, the rhubarb lady and the adventure of finding new things to eat and cook. what fun!

Vic said...

wow, I've never seen them before! They look very interesting, happy eating! xx

yardage girl said...

Mmmm excellent - I love learning about new veges. From the title of the post alone, I thought you were going to tell us that your little ones first word was an attempt at "cartoon" but came out "cardoon" ;o)