Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Cheesy Cardoon Pie

A spinoff on spanikopita, I created a phyllo-crusted creation featuring artichoke's cousin cardoons.

Clean and chop the cardoons into bite-sized pieces and boil them until soft. Cool slightly and stir them into beaten eggs seasoned with sea salt and cinnamon.

Layer your baking dish with 6 layers of phyllo dough, brushing each sheet with melted butter.

Line the bottom of the crust with a layer of lowfat cottage cheese. Pour the cardoon mixture in and sprinkle with feta cheese. Top with 4 more layers of phyllo, brushing each layer with butter. Roll the edges in to form a crust lip.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until the phyllo is crisp and golden brown. Serve with a green salad dressed in an oregano dressing.

A Good Ol' Day

This past weekend, we were all on the Artichoke Festival float in the Good Ol’ Days parade in Pacific Grove.

Lionel, the Artichoke Man, created a wonderful float - complete with music and a spinning choke. Riley had a blast on his throne and Dylan stayed on. I’d say that was a success.

We smiled, waved, then afterwards explored the booths for a grand ol' time.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Artichokes' Kissing Cousin

Cardoons look menacing, kind of like celery on growth hormones. But they are actually closely related to artichokes. When I find them at the farmers' market, I buy them and make sformato di cardi (cardoon flan). It reminds me of Spring in Rome.

1 pound cardoons, ends trimmed, stripped of fibers, and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 1/4 cups milk
3 eggs
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano

Boil the cardoons until they're half cooked in lightly salted water, drain them, and sauté them in half the butter. Salt them, and when they have absorbed the butter, sprinkle some of the milk over them and simmer them until done.

Using the remaining butter, milk, and a level tablespoon of flour, make a beciamela sauce. Beat the eggs, mix all the ingredients together and check seasoning. Transfer the mixture to a buttered smooth sided mold. Bake the sformato in a 325 degree F oven for 25-30 minutes or until sets. Serve hot with a tossed salad and a crisp white wine.

EcoChokes by EcoChic Designs

This being the year of the artichoke and all, when I located a supplier of sterling silver artichoke charms, I immediately bought his entire supply and launched into making a line of one-of-a-kind pieces. I'm slowly listing necklaces for sale at Here are just a few...