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Gratin de Cardons

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Ingredients Edit

Cardoons Edit

Court Bouillon Edit

Béchamel Edit

Directions Edit

Cardoons Edit

  1. Cut off bases, and discard tough outer stems.
  2. Trim remaining stems, removing strings, leaves and prickles.
  3. Quarter hearts lengthwise.
  4. Wash and slice stems into 3- to 4-inch pieces, and rub with lemon to prevent discoloration.

Court Bouillon Edit

  1. Combine ingredients in stockpot over medium heat, and bring to a boil.
  2. Place cardoon stems and hearts in pan with crusty stale bread to help remove bitterness of cardoons.
  3. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, remove from heat and cool.
  4. When cool enough to handle, lift edge of each piece with paring knife, and peel off skin.
  5. Trim away toughest fibrous strings down to tender stems.
  6. Soak trimmed cardoon pieces in water to cover with several tablespoons vinegar until ready to use.

Béchamel Edit

  1. Melt butter in heavy saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add onion, and cook until pale golden.
  3. Add flour, and stir well, about 1 minute.
  4. Slowly add 1 cup milk, stirring constantly, and continue cooking 35 minutes more.
  5. When sauce thickens, slowly add more milk until all milk is used up.
  6. Add clove, sugar and bouquet garni.
  7. Continue to cook 1½ hours, stirring and scraping occasionally.
  8. Whisk sauce, and strain, removing bouquet garni and clove.
  9. Add heavy cream, if desired, and a pinch nutmeg and salt to taste.
  10. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  11. Lightly butter ovenproof baking dish.

Assembly Edit

  1. Place cardoons in baking dish.
  2. Add béchamel to cover evenly.
  3. Sprinkle uniformly with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and small pieces of butter for topping.
  4. Bake 5 to 10 minutes, or until golden.
  5. Remove from oven, and serve.

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