Never thought cardoons were meant to be eaten? Think again! Today we´ll be preparing a Cardo en Salsa de Almendras recipe which will surprise all of you who think cardoons have to be boring and tasteless.
To be more specific, the kind of cardoons we’re talking about today are the Cynara cardunculus, also known as artichoke thistle. Sometimes known as Cardo de Navarra, this vegetable is rich in fiber, potassium, sodium , iron as well as Vitamin C, B3, B2 and B1. It´s a good choice if you have diabetes and also good for the liver. Typically grown in the mediterranean ( more specfically in France, Italy and Spain), cardoons are one of the few vegetables that can be collected during winter.
In this Cardo en Salsa de Almendras recipe (which is cardoon with almond sauce in spanish), we’re going to show you how to prepare an interesting delicacy in just a few minutes. It is such a delicacy that it is served during Christmas in many regions of Spain, including Madrid. It does take some experience and patience to prepare the sauce without clumps, but don’t ́t worry too much if it’s not perfect.
Now, cardoons are a wild food, but they actually contain a great deal of nutrients. For instance, it contains more fiber, protein, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium on a per weight basis than some other vegetables. Who would have thought?
It’s also vegetarian-friendly and is even vegan-friendly as well, if you replace the cow’s milk with almond milk (or soy milk). Want to know more about spanish-vegeterian-friendly recipes? Check our section here.
Cardo con Salsa de Almendras
- 500 gr cardoon (we recommend using tinned cardoon)
- 1/2 lemon (if you´re not using tinned cardoon)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 80 gr almonds
- 200 ml milk
- 1 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- If you have fresh cardoons, wash and peel them carefully, removing the tines and edges. Place your peeled cardoons in cold water with a few drops of lemon to avoid the oxidation. Once peeled, boil them in water with salt for 20-25 minutes. If you have tinned cardoons, they’re usually pre-boiled, so just skip this part.
- Grind the almonds. Chop the garlic cloves into very small pieces.
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and fry the garlic cloves over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add a tablespoon of flour and mix it with the garlic. You can add some of the water you have boiled your cardoons in, or the water inside the can if you have tinned ones.
- Add your ground almonds and fry them for a minute.
- Add the milk and lower your heat. Boil for 10 minutes, or until you have a smooth sauce, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.