Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Doon the Real Deal

Piccata di Cardi alla Parmigiana
Cardoon Piccata with Parmesan Cheese

Oh yes- you had better believe it- yet another cardoon recipe! And yes- there is still one more to come! For those of you who are not familiar with cardoons... they are LARGE plants!
So I had plenty of work with trimming them of their thorns and those stringy sinews- see previous threads... but once the hard work was done- there was plenty of enjoyment and tasty, healthy eating to be done too!

This may be a very simple and unexcting preparation for the artichoke stalks, but at the same time it is probably the most commonplace way for "cardi" to be served in Sicily. Back in the old country, they would be simply dipped in egg and fried until golden brown. I decided to add Parmesan cheese to the egg- for two reasons. One, of course to give them more flavor and two, because the cheese contains fat and that allowed me to get away with frying these in a "dry" non-stick frying pan.

The way I did it was this: first I sprinkled grated Parmesan onto the pan in about the size of the cardoons I was about to fry. I had dipped the cardoons into beaten egg which I flavored with a hint of salt and a good pinch of pepper. I carefully poured a little of the egg onto the cheese, let it set a little, and then laid the cardoons on top. I sprinkled them with Parmesan so that I would also get a nice golden, cheese flavored coating on the other side when I flipped them over.... easy!

I prefer to eat them hot and straight from the pan, but they are also often served cold as a side dish in Sicily. They go well with grilled or fried meat dishes- or just enjoy them as they are if you of the vegetarian persuasion... as I said- a very simple dish, but about as Sicilian as you can get!

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