20 Dec


I’m bending a rule (which is a special talent of mine) with this recipe for gratineed cardoons from the kitchen of Giuliano Hazan.  Although a born and bred Italian (with a pedigree that includes being the son of Marcella Hazan), Giuliano lives most of the year in Sarasota, Florida making him practiically a neighbor of mine. I took a cooking class at his home a few weeks ago where the contorno (side dish, usually a vegetable) was this simple preparation for cardoons.

GRATINEED CARDOONSFrom the kitchen of Giuliano Hazan

GRATINEED CARDOONSFrom the kitchen of Giuliano Hazan

2 pounds cardoons
3 tablespoons butter
Black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated

1. Separate the stalks of the cardoons and remove the leafy tops. Pare away and discard all bruised parts and peel the backs of the stalks. Rinse in cold water. Cut the stalks into pieces about 6 inches long.
2. Turn on the oven at 450°.
3. Bring to a boil a pot of water large enough to comfortably accommodate the cardoons. Place them in the boiling water and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain or lift the cardoons out of the water carefully.
4. In a shallow baking dish place a layer of the cardoons. Season with salt and pepper, dot with butter and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese. Place a second layer of cardoons and repeat. Try not to have more than two layers of cardoons. If necessary, use two pans. Put in the preheated oven and bake until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve at once.

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