December's top vegetable: thistle

The thistle or wild artichoke is a perennial herbaceous plant with purifying and laxative qualities.

Provides a good amount of vitamins and minerals, promotes digestion and helps burn fat.

In addition, thistle has very few calories: just think that 100 grams of product provide less than 20.

Unfortunately, thistle is not easily found in large-scale distribution and is not very present on our tables also because we often do not know it well and do not know how to use it in the kitchen.

Let's find out here how to cook it.

How to clean the thistle

The thistle cleans itself cutting the stem into small pieces and eliminating the filamentous part and lasts from the ribs until it reaches the heart, more tender and clearer.

After washing and cutting it, to prevent it from blackening, it is advisable put it in water and lemon, just like you do with artichokes.

The thistle tends to blacken even when it is boiled, it is therefore advisable to add the juice of half a lemon to the cooking water.


How to cook thistle: 3 simple ways

Boiled thistle

Thistle is also good on its own simply boiled and seasoned with extra virgin olive oil, salt, lemon and pepper. Cooking times vary according to the hardness of the vegetable; therefore you have to check that it is cooked with the help of a fork.

Thistle au gratin

Another very simple recipe is the cardoon au gratin: after boiling it in salted water and lemon, put it in a baking dish with plenty of breadcrumbs and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.

Those who like it can also add a sprinkling of Grana or Parmesan cheese. Complete cooking in the oven at 180 large for about 15/20 minutes.


Fried thistle

Thistle is also excellent fried: after having cleaned and cut it into small pieces, boil it in water and lemon; it must remain al dente.

Drain the pieces of thistle and let them cool. Pass them in the egg and then in the flour and fry them in abundant oil.


Discover all the vegetables of December


The recipe for broth with thistle, meatballs and stracciatella

Broth with thistle is typically a Christmas recipe Abruzzo. Like all traditional holiday dishes, it is quite rich and can be an idea to bring a seasonal product to the table even on December 25th.

Ingredients for 4/6 people:> a kilo of thistle
> 500 grams of meat,
> 50 grams of Parmesan cheese,
> salt and pepper
> chopped parsley
> 4 eggs
> 1 carrot,
> a stick of celery,
> a potato,
> an onion,
> a bay leaf 
> 2 cloves

Preparation: far cook the thistle in water and lemon until it becomes tender. Be careful to keep only the central part.

Prepare the meatballs with the meat, parmesan, salt, chopped parsley and an egg; they must be very small, more or less than size of a hazelnut.

Prepare the stock with a carrot, a stick of celery, a potato, an onion, a bay leaf and two cloves. The meatballs can be cooked in broth or separately with a few tablespoons of oil. No.

aturalmente, we can substitute meatballs with vegetable meatballs, for example lentil or chickpea meatballs, or even bread; the important thing is that they have a certain consistency so as not to flake when we add them to the hot broth.

For the stracciatella, in a bowl, beat 3 eggs with two tablespoons of grated Parmesan and a pinch of salt and pepper. At this point, complete the preparation; in the broth add the thistles, the meatballs (if we have cooked them separately) and the egg mixture; stir rapidly for a few minutes on the heat to make the eggs congeal and form the stracciatella. Serve hot.


The top fruit of December: mandarins


To learn more:

> Seasonal vegetables in December


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