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Cook's notesCardoons are cultivated for their fleshy leaf-ribs. Bitter and tough when raw, they need to be prepared and cooked before eating. Remove any leaves and trim away the thorny edges. Cut them into 2 cm crescents and put into acidulated water (water with a squeeze of lemon) to stop them browning.
- 250ml double cream
- 500ml chicken or veg stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1.5-2kg cardoons, prepared and chopped into 2cm crescents (see cook's note on prep, below)
- 100g grated hard cheese (e.g. Cheddar, Gruyère)
- salt and pepper
Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 1h 30 min
Step 1Preheat your oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
Step 2Put the cream, stock and bay leaf in a large saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Add the prepared cardoons.
Step 3Bring the pan to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cardoons are tender, which can take up to 1 hour.
Step 4Transfer to a gratin dish, discard the bay leaf, sprinkle with cheese and bake for approx. 30 minutes, until golden and bubbling.