I have never eaten cardoons. I know a little about them, of course, but it is all theoretical. Now that I have realised this, deficit in my life, eating cardoons is on my A list, which I prefer to call my TTT-list (Things To Try list). I don’t remember ever seeing cardoons at any of the Brisbane farmers’ markets, but perhaps this will change now that they are on my curiosity radar.
I did consider the cardoon in a post a long time ago (here), but this week I am seeking vegetable inspiration from Adam's Luxury and Eve's Cookery, or, the Kitchen-Garden display’d, published in 1744. What does this lovely book have to give us on cardoons (which it calls chardoons) ? Four recipes, as it turns out – which is four more than any of the high profile celebrity chef cookery books that have ended up on my bookshelves over the last few years. How come we keep losing vegetable recipes from our cookery portfolios?
A couple of the recipes are quite substantial – chardoons with cheese, and one with bacon and marrow and more cheese, and one is for buttered chardoons. I am going to give you the first one in the book, which shows that if you prepare them right, they can substitute for asparagus, or even peas.
Chardoons Fried and Butter’d.
They are a wild Thistle that grows in every Ditch or Hedge. You must cut them about ten Inches, string them, tie them up twenty in a Bundle, and boil them like Asparagus: Or you may cut them in small Bits, and boil them as Pease, and toss them up with Pepper, Salt, and melted Butter.
Quotation for the Day.
I am better off with vegetables at the bottom of my garden than with all the fairies of the Midsummer Night's Dream.
Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957) 'Lord, I Thank Thee'