Cardoon Pesto

Cardoon pesto

Keep refrigerated in an airtight container with a piece of plastic pressed directly over the top for up to 5 days.

Cardoon Pesto

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • PRINT Print This Recipe


  • 1 pound cardoons (stalks cut into 1-inch by 2-inch pieces)
  • 1 small, finely chopped garlic clove
  • 1/3 cup toasted, finely chopped pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2-3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan


  1. Trim and peel 1 pound cardoons and cut the stalks into 1-inch by 2-inch pieces.
  2. Place cardoon in a large pot of lightly salted water and bring to a boil over high heat.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer until very tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Drain well and pat them dry.
  4. In a food processor, combine chopped garlic clove and toasted pine nuts.
  5. Add the cardoons, flat-leaf parsley leaves, freshly grated lemon zest, 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  6. Blend, scraping down the side of the bowl, until it becomes a coarse puree.
  7. Add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan. Blend again until incorporated and creamy (it will not be completely smooth).
  8. Blend in up to 2 more tablespoons olive oil. Add up to 1 more teaspoon lemon juice and more salt and pepper to taste to reach desired consistency.