Friday, June 24, 2011

ariel tries to make cardoons ... fails ... and makes asparagus instead

first off -- i'd like to say a big thank you to karina for the most amazing wedding cupcakes -- ever! they were so creative, beautiful and flavorful! seriously -- you should all hire her for all your cupcake needs! they added so much to our wedding and our friends are still taking about them! so thank you love! they were great!

so now -- that i'm officially a married lady -- here's my first post -- where i totally failed! great.

sam and i went to the castro farmers' market on wednesday night for the first time. it's a fantastic market! and one organic vendor had this long, green, celery looking veggie called cardoon. the farmer said it tasted like artichoke! yum!

i took it home and last night did a little research. i found a recipe for cardoon gratin on youtube and thought it sounded good. well ...

this cardoon takes some prep. you have to pull off the long fibers, soak it in lemon water and then boil it. i did all that -- but then when i tested it -- it was SO bitter. i mean -- gross bitter! what a bummer! it was even too bitter for sam, who loves eating bitter melon ... which is really bitter. so total fail! anyone have this problem with cardoon before??

anyhoo -- while the bitter cray-cray veggie was boiling ... i had already made a bechamel sauce for the gratin ...

for the sauce, i melted some butter and added about a 1/2 c. of organic whole wheat flour.

i melted that together and then i added a huge spoon of powder milk and water and whisked it together.

it got lovely and creamy -- and then i added salt, pepper and some chopped white onion.

i had already invited my parents to eat with us (since i had been so excited about the cardoons!) so now i needed a back up plan. we had also got some really lovely asparagus, so i chopped it up, steamed it for about 5 minutes, and then threw it in a baking pan.

then i covered it with the sauce and added some parmesan cheese and threw THAT all in the oven -- at 350* for about 25 minutes.

it came out great! really creamy and rich -- very yummy.

someday i hope to try non-bitter cardoons. maybe ...