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Cardoon Pesto

May 1, 2017

This recipe is excerpted from The Vegetable Butcher, Workman Publishing, copyright 2016.

Cardoon Pesto




05 min


45 min


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


Trim and peel 1 pound cardoons and cut the stalks into 1-inch by 2-inch pieces.

Place cardoon in a large pot of lightly salted water and bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce the heat and simmer until very tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Drain well and pat them dry.

In a food processor, combine chopped garlic clove and toasted pine nuts.

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.

Blend, scraping down the side of the bowl, until it becomes a coarse puree.

Add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan. Blend again until incorporated and creamy (it will not be completely smooth).

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.

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