Chardoons

Adam’s Luxury and Eve’s Cookery, 1744

Chardoons, or Cardoons, as they are called now, ‘are a wild thistle that grows in every ditch or hedge.’ According to Adam’s Luxury and Eve’s Cookery several British thistles were eaten in former times as the green artichoke is now, after being boiled. The stalks also, stripped of their rind, were cooked in the same way as asparagus and eaten cold as salad, or as a vegetable. They were sometimes baked in pies. To-day they are cultivated on the Continent and in America and grown to a certain extent in England. Mrs. Charles Roundell, of Dorford Hall, Nantwich, Cheshire, strongly recommends the cultivation of the cardoon (cynara cardunculus) in our gardens in this country. It is ‘grown in trenches like celery and banked up about October so as to blanch the stalks which are the edible portion.’

Ingredients

I Ingredients

  • One or two heads of cardoons, boiling water, pepper and salt and melted butter.

Method

  1. Remove the rough outside of the stems.
  2. Cut them up into pieces about 10 inches long.
  3. Tie them up 20 in a bundle.
  4. Throw them into boiling slightly salted water and boil them like asparagus.

Time: to simmer till tender, and this, Mrs. Roundell says, ‘may take 2 hours or more according to their age and size.’

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