Cardoons are thistle-like stalks which come from the Globe Artichoke (at least mine did but there are different varieties of Cardoons). The Cardoon is native to the Mediterranean, where they have been used for thousands of years by the Greeks, Romans and Persians.
To see more photos; http://thelocalmarket.wordpress.com/2012/03/20/cardoons-42/ —Bill Schimpf
They’re a little more labor intensive then most vegetables and need to be trimmed of all the leaves on the sides before being peeled.
When peeling Cardoons it is important to peel off all of the outer skin of the stalk. The fiberous stuff looks almost like string and you should remove as much as possible. Whats left of the stalk should be cut into 3 inch pieces and the wider parts should be cut in half so all of the pieces are as close to the same size as possible.
Next, make a brine to poached them. Poaching time is around 20 to 30 minutes. Because they are so fiberous they need a longer cook time to turn them into tender and delicious pieces
For the Poaching liquid, combine all ingredients in a pot, bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes.
Strain the liquid and put directly over Cardoons in a another pot. Bring to a boil and and cook the cardoons for a half an hour..
After cooking the cardoons for a half an hour let let them cool down enough so you can handle them (do not drain, let stand in liquid about 20 minutes). Pat them dry then, dredge them in flour (seasoned with salt and pepper) then eggs (also seasoned with a little salt and pepper) then coat with bread crumbs (bread crumbs with 2 sprigs of fresh thyme leaves chopped and mixed in).
Now you’re ready to fry them. Blended the oil; half olive oil and half canola oil. Bring the oil up to 350. Fry until the outside is deep golden brown.
Remove from oil and drain. As soon as you get them out of the oil, Grate the cheese over them or sprinkle.