The Black Cat Farm plants cardoons in early spring. Like most other thistles, cardoons are relatively easy to grow in Boulder county.
In September, farm workers tie up the plants to bunch them together. They then wrap newspaper around the plants to block the sunlight, decrease bitterness, and promote a pale green color. During harvesting, most of the spines on the ribs are cut off.
1. Prepare a large batch of cardoons according to the instructions in http://brambleandhare.com/blog/farmers-market-cornerjerusalem-artichoke-preparation.
2. Use half of the prepared cardoons for your dinner. Reserve the other half.
3. Place the reserved cardoons in a container.
4. Prepare enough of the following vinaigrette (or a vinaigrette of your own) to submerge the cardoons in the container:
- In a bowl, combine 1/3 part of white wine vinegar with lemon juice, salt, coarsely chopped fresh oregano and parsley (or other green herbs), and red pepper flakes
- Drizzle and whisk 2/3 part of olive oil into the vinegar mixture.
5. Transfer the vinaigrette into the container with the cardoons.
6. Store the container in the refrigerator. After a few days, sample the cardoons. Once they start tasting like marinated artichokes, the are ready to eat and will last for several months in the refrigerator.