Cardoons are reminiscent to celery in their shape and artichoke in their taste: after all, artichokes belong to the family of thistles.

There are several varieties of Cardoons: wild cardoons can be distinguished from cultivated ones. Among the wild ones there are the Marian Cardoon (also called Benedict or the Madonna), which grows wild in many regions of Italy like Abruzzo, Molise, Piedmont, Sardinia and Sicily.

In addition to being light with only 17 calories for every 100 grams, it is known for its purifying virtues.

Serves 2, Preparation time 30 mins, Cooking time 60 mins

  • 2 Cardoon stalks
  • 2 tablespoons of grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino cheese
  • ½ lemon
  • 1,5 lt vegetable broth
  • 2 small potatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • a sprig of fresh time
  • a clove of garlic
  • Evoo – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a tbsp
  • Unsalted butter, 20 g
  • diced Pancetta, to garnish


Prepare the classic vegetable broth with onion, carrot and celery.

Clean the cardoon stalks, peel them, remove the filaments with a potato peeler, then cut it into pieces and put it in water acidulated with lemon slices to avoid they blackening.

Peel and slice the potatoes into small pieces.

Cook cardoon and potato pieces together in the broth about 40/45 minutes. Drain and blend together.

In a pan, sauté the garlic with butter, a spoonful of Evoo and a little fresh or even dried thyme. Add the cream of cardoons and potatoes and cooking for about 5 minutes.

Remove the garlic, add salt and pepper to taste and 2 tbsp of grated Parmigiano or Pecorino cheese.

Garnish each dish with diced browned pancetta.

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