Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600689


This vegetable is a member of the thistle family and is
a close relative of the globe artichoke, although it looks
more like celery. Cardoon is cultivated for its fleshy root
and stems, some of which are six or seven feet long. There
are also many wild varieties, but they are smaller and less
tender. Tenderness in the cultivated varieties is ensured
through blanching, which involves tying the leaves together
after they have attained maximum growth and storing them for
some time before marketing.

The artichoke enjoyed by the ancient Greeks and Romans
was actually cardoon. It was also prominent in medieval
cooking. It is popular in Europe today, but less so in
the United States, where the stems are often known as chard.
They should not be confused with real chard, or spinach

The main root, which is thick, fleshy and tender, is
often boiled, then served cold in salad. It may also be
sauted in butter or served in Bechamel sauce. The stems
may be treated like asparagus or celery, and the leaves,
like spinach.

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