I grew cardoons as an experiment. They are a good deal of work, as you'll need to wrap the whole plant (except for the top leaves) for a couple of weeks to blanch the ribs, then strip the leaves and use a vegetable peeler to get rid of the thorny edge and the tough, thready strings along the backs of the ribs. Then you'll want to blanch the stalks to remove the bitterness before you put them to their final use. On the plus side, they have a delicate, appealing taste - somewhere between artichoke and celery, but milder than either - and a pleasant, juicy texture. As an added bonus, it looks like I'll get at least two crops from mine. I cut them to the ground in early August (I'm in a warm-weather zone) and they sprouted fresh leaves that are well on their way to a new rounds of cardoons.
Would you recommend this product to a friend?