Cardo con almendras (cardoon with almonds)
This is an old traditional recipe without quantities.
Once the cardoon growing in the soil has reached some 40 centimetres tall, cover it with soil or paper to avoid chlorific activity and to keep the cardoon white. Then it is cut exclusively for Christmas Eve and can be found in all the markets at that time of year.
leaves of cardoon
salt to taste
Only the stems are cooked; so one must rigorously peel them, removing the fibres longitudinally. Then break them transversely and leave them for a while in water and lemon so that they do not darken. Then put them into salted boiling water and simmer these cardoon stalks until soft.
In the meantime, put another pan of salted water to boil. Once soft in the first pan, transfer the stalks immediately to the second pan to continue cooking for a while. This change of water is to eliminate a rather bitter taste which will remain in the first boiling. Once cooked, keep warm in a serving dish.
Meanwhile, chop the almonds and fry them in olive oil with a very little chopped garlic and when golden add some flour slowly, followed immediately by milk until a thick sauce is formed.
Pour the almond sauce over the cardoon in the serving dish and serve hot.