|Photo courtesy of www.gutenburg.org|
Summer's garden is just barely done for the year, and here I am, plotting away for next year's growing season.
I'm in the mood for something unusual and dramatic. Tall, with large leaves. Potentially dangerous, as well.
Cardoon should fit the bill nicely, I think.
Cardoon is a relative of the artichoke. It was highly popular during the Victorian era, along with things like chicory, sea kale, and corn salad. Where you eat the flower head of the artichoke, with cardoon you eat the blanched and peeled stalk. It is related to the thistle, so there are formidable spikes on the leaves and narrow tips of the stalks. They aren't particularly suited to Zone 3, but with a little coaxing, an early start indoors and growing in a pot in a sunny warm corner of the garden (and watering heavily), I think I will give it a go. It's flavor has been described as mildly artichoke-esque with a hint of licorice--to some reading this, they may be recoiling in horror, but I think it sounds intriguing. I've already come across a recipe for cardoon au gratin--and who doesn't like vegetables smothered in a rich buttery cheese sauce?
If nothing else, I can cut and use the spiky stalks as a weapon during the zombie apocalypse.