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Cardoon

Why Eat It
Availability
Shopping
Preparation
Nutrition Chart


Why Eat It

Plants of the thistle family produce the familiar globe artichoke and also the celerylike cardoon. When the thick, silvery stalks are cooked, their flavor is reminiscent of artichokes, but they can also be eaten raw, like fennel or celery. Serve raw cardoon with other crudites and a dip; dress the cooked vegetable with lemon juice or a vinaigrette, and serve it hot or cold.

Like celery, cardoon is very low in calories--only 20 in 3 1/2 ounces (a little over half a cup). For a vegetable, it is rather high in sodium--a half cup contains about 150 milligrams. It also supplies fair amounts of folate (folic acid) and magnesium.

Availability

Cardoons have long been popular in Italy, and can often be found in Italian markets in the United States in the winter and early spring.

Shopping

Look for slender, supple but firm stalks; they are velvety gray, not moist-looking and green like celery.

Preparation

Trim the bases and tops of the stalks, then cut them into strips to serve raw or into short pieces or squares for cooking. Cut the base into large chunks.

Nutrition Chart

Cardoon/1 cup cooked

32
Total fat (g)
0.2
Saturated fat (g)
0
Monounsaturated fat (g)
0
Polyunsaturated fat (g)
0.1
Dietary fiber (g)
2.5
1
Carbohydrate (g)
8
Cholesterol (mg)
0
Sodium (mg)
257
Magnesium (mg)
63
Potassium (mg)
572


Date Published: 04/20/2005
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