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Tender Cardoon Hearts--To Cook, Infuse?

SteveG | Mar 1, 2008 01:27 PM

I bought a big bunch of cardoons this morning, and while I know what to do with the stalks (poach and use in a pudding, poach and use in a gratin), I was surprised by how tender and lacy the inner leaves are on these.

I'm inclined to somehow take advantage of the beautiful structure, perhaps as a garnish for the top of the pudding? If a garnish, should I do a quick pickle with a nice vinegar and some salt, or fry them crisp and hope they stay flat enough to display the beautiful leaf structure?

I'm also curious about infusing some booze with them along the lines of Cynar.

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