Amy’s Cardoons A gratin

Don’t let this wonderful vegetable scare you. It takes a little elbow grease to get to the best thing I have had in a while. You do have to prepare the cardoons and soak them, then you basically have to cook them until they are soft and creamy. It’s worth the work and the wait. I promise you will love these. I put them with some chicken I sautéed—absolutely scrumptious.

1 whole cardoon (cleaned and soaked)
1 sweet onion diced
1 to 2 cups of fresh mushrooms
½ cup parmesan cheese (divided into ¼)
½ cup mozzarella or munster (any soft white cheese you like) (divided into ¼)
¼ cup white wine
2 tbps clarified butter
1 lemon
Salt peper to taste
4 tbs garlic divided in half

Prepare the Cardoons:
1. Use a large bowl and fill a little over half full with water. Cut lemon in half, squeeze halves in water and put lemon halves in bowl. Cardoon tend to brown very quickly, so when you cut into them make sure you dip them in the lemon water, it will also be where your let your cardoons rest and soak.
2. Cut the root off of the cardoon stalk. Dip ends in lemon water. Trim the tops and dip. Take some kitchen shears and trim off sides where the leaves were, then dip. Take a veggie peeler and peal off the stringy celery like strands, dip dip dip. Rinse cardoons and rub the inside of the rib to get a layer of thin skin and dirt off. Cut into pieces and put back into lemon water.
3. Soak in lemon water about at least 2 hours up to overnight.
1. After soaking, grab a pot and put water, salt, and 2 tbps garlic and bring to a boil. Once water is boiling, add cardoons and boil for about 35 to 45 minutes. The longer you cook them the tenderer they will be.
2. While boiling; cut up onion and mushrooms. Grade cheeses and set aside. Measure out wine and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. And get a casserole dish ready (I use my pampered chef stoneware mini pie baker).
3. When cardoon are done boiling, drain water. Place onions, rest of garlic, mushrooms, butter and boiled cardoon in a large skillet. Cook until onions are see through and mushrooms are done. Add wine and reduce while simmering.
4. Add ¼ cups of both cheeses and mix. Transfer to casserole dish. Sprinkle rest of cheese on top. Put foil on top and place into oven. Cook about 30 minutes with foil. Take foil off and let cheese brown on top, about 5 to 10 minutes.
5. Serve and enjoy!

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