Cardone Cheddar Gratin

8-10 cups* 2 inch chunks cardone(cardoon)soaked in salt water overnight
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheddar
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
juice of 1/2 lemon
freshly ground black pepper

Soak the cardone in salted water overnight.

Preheat oven to 350. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the lemon juice and cardones. Boil the cardones until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain throguhly. Grease a large lidded casserole. Pour in the cardones.

Meanwhile, n a medium pan, melt the butter. Add the flour along with the spices and stir until smooth. Add the milk and evaporated milk and whisk together until slightly thickened. Whisk in the cheddar until smooth. Pour over the cardones. Stir to evenly distribute. Top with bread crumbs. Bake covered about 15 minutes, then uncover and cook until hot and bubbly, about 10-15 additional minutes.

*About 1 large bunch of cardone

My thoughts:

When the nice people at Sea Mist asked if I wanted to try cardone, I accepted, as I am always eager to try a new-to-me vegetable despite not really knowing what it was. When it arrived, I still didn’t really know what it was. Cardone is a relative of the artichoke but looks like giant, monstrous celery. I read up on it and a lot of people suggested either removing the strings in the ribs or soaking it in salt water overnight. I went with the salt water. I have to admit, the next day it still seemed tough and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make anything with it remotely edible. I am happy to say I went ahead and all turned out well. It did have an artichoke-like flavor and a crisp but not tough texture. It went wonderfully with the creamy cheddar sauce. If you have a bunch of cardone, I suggest trying this out!


  1. I have never heard of that either, but it certainly looks great.

  2. I like celery but not artichokes—I wonder if this would be worth seeking out…sounds like a good compromise.