How to prepare cardoons
Wash thoroughly. Peel the fibrous ribs away using a knife or a peeler, then put into acidulated water (water with a squeeze of lemon) to stop them browning.
How to cook cardoons
Chop the ribs into 2-3 inch lengths and boil in plenty of acidulated, salted water for 15 mins to tenderise and reduce the bitterness. To make fritters, shake the boiled cardoons in a plastic bag with 2 tbsp flour to coat. Dip in a beaten seasoned egg and roll in breadcrumbs. Deep fry in batches in an inch of oil until just starting to colour. Serve immediately, with aioli for dipping.
Guy’s been experimenting with growing cardoons on a patch of land on the farm for a few years now. They’ve either tasted excessively bitter or run to seed early, thwarting his plans. Now it seems, he’s finally cracked it with a new variety sown last spring.