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Italian Vegetable Side Dishes
Baked Cardoons
Baked Cardoons
RECIPES
Baked Cardoons
Carrots in Marsala
Mushrooms with Garlic and Parsley
Stuffed Tomatoes
Baked Cardoons
(Serves 4 to 6)

Ingredients:

1 lemon
2 pounds cardoons
6 tablespoons butter, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Fill a large bowl with water; squeeze in the juice of the lemon.  Snap off the outer stalks of the cardoons at the base and discard.  Cut off the base of the remaining cluster of tender stalks.  Now trim the separated stalks one at a time.  Cut off all the sharp-pointed leaves and pull off the strings that run along the edges.  Lift off the transparent skin that covers the inside with the tip of a sharp knife.  Cut the stalks into 3-inch pieces and place in the water with the lemon juice.

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan.  Remove the cardoons from the lemon-water and place in the saucepan.  Cook until soft and tender, 30 to 45 minutes.  Drain in a colander.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Use 2 tablespoons of butter to grease a shallow 2-quart baking dish.
Melt the remaining butter.

Place half of the cardoon pieces in the baking dish in a single layer.  Season with salt and sprinkle with about 4 tablespoons of Parmesan.  Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of melted butter.  Repeat the layers.  Sprinkle remaining Parmesan over the top layer.  Place a sheet of foil over the top, tenting it slightly, and sealing the edges.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake another 10 to 15 minutes.  The mixture should be bubbling and the topping golden brown.
Carrots in Marsala
(Serves 6)

Ingredients:

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 shallot, chopped
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
Salt
1/4 cup dry Marsala

Directions:

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the shallot and sauté for 2 minutes.  Add the carrots and salt.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.  Add water if the carrots get too dry.  Add the Marsala and cook uncovered until the wine evaporates, about 3 minutes.
Mushrooms with Garlic and Parsley
(Serves 4 to 6)

Ingredients:

1 pound white mushrooms, cut into quarters
3 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper

Directions:

Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Add the mushrooms and red pepper flakes.  Saute until mushrooms begin to brown, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, parsley, salt and pepper; reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook 5 more minutes.
Stuffed Tomatoes
(Serves 6)

Ingredients:

6 fresh tomatoes (about 3-inches in diameter)
Salt and pepper
1-1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup minced scallions
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese
Olive oil for drizzling

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the cores from the tomatoes; cut the tomatoes in half crosswise.  With your fingers, remove the seeds and juice.  Place the tomatoes in a baking dish, cut side up.  Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper.

In bowl combine the bread crumbs, scallions, basil, parsley, garlic, and thyme.  Season the mixture with salt and pepper.

Fill the tomatoes with the bread crumb mixture, mounding it on top.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Sprinkle the tops with Parmesan and drizzle with a little olive oil.
Bake for another 2 minutes.  Serve hot or at room temperature.
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Vegetable Side Dishes
VEGETABLE SIDE DISH COLLECTION  >  ITALIAN VEGETABLE SIDE DISHES
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CARDOONS
Cardoons are related to artichokes. The tough outer stalks are always discarded, and only the inner stalks and hearts are eaten. Cardoons bought in the market are usually trimmed and are sold with a crown of leaves, similar to large heads of celery. The stalks should be plump and light green to creamy white and not too hairy. Cardoons can be eaten raw in a salad or cooked in a variety of ways. They are traditionally used as a vegetable to dip into the hot anchovy and garlic sauce known as Bagna Cauda.  Wrapped in plastic, cardoons will keep in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
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