Pic of Cardoon gratin

Cardoon gratin

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Vegetarian mains

Cardoon gratin

Side Serves 4 1h 45 min
Cardoons taste like a cross between celery and artichoke heart with a little bitterness thrown in for good measure. Serve this creamy, cheesy gratin golden and bubbling from the oven as a vegetarian main with grains or crusty bread and salad. A few cooked potatoes can be added to this gratin if you like before you bake it, to bulk it out a little.

Cook's notes

Cardoons 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
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Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 1h 30 min
  • Step 1

    Preheat your oven to 180°C/Gas 4.
  • Step 2

    Put the cream, stock and bay leaf in a large saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Add the prepared cardoons.
  • Step 3

    Bring the pan to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cardoons are tender, which can take up to 1 hour.
  • Step 4

    Transfer to a gratin dish, discard the bay leaf, sprinkle with cheese and bake for approx. 30 minutes, until golden and bubbling.

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