Baked Gratin Thistles with Béchamel

Today I will give you an example of how to combine the useful with the pleasant by preparing a delicious and delicate side dish, able to satisfy the palate and benefit our body. The highlight of today is the thistle (Cynara cardunculus), the same plant from which a phytocomplex is extracted capable of curdling the milk (vegetable rennet). In the kitchen the tender parts of the stem and the leaf ribs are used: today I propose the roasted cardoons in the oven.

Video of the Recipe

Problems with playing the video? Reload the video from youtube.

Identity Card of the Recipe

  • 73 KCal Calories per serving
  • Ingrediants

    • 500 g of clean thistles ribs
    • 500 ml of milk
    • 40 g of white flour of type 00
    • q.s. of salt
    • q.s. of pepper
    • 1 grated nutmeg
    • 50 g of grated Parmesan cheese
    • 20 g of breadcrumbs
    • 20 g butter (for the pan)

    Materials Needed

    • Bowl
    • Casserole
    • Knife
    • Baking tray
    • Grater


    1. Prepare a bowl with water and lemon juice.

    What is lemon used for?
    Thistles, just like artichokes, tend to blacken the hands and oxidize rapidly: to slow down the natural oxidative process, we recommend the use of lemon.
    To protect your hands from blackening, we also recommend the use of latex gloves.

    1. Clean the ribs of the thistles. Separate the ribs of the head, removing any leaves. Cut the ribs into pieces about 10 cm long and, if they are particularly large, cut them lengthwise.
    2. Deprive each piece of coast of hard and woody filaments using a sharp knife or a vegetable peeler (recommended). As the ribs are cleaned, dip the thistles in the acidulated water.
    3. Rinse the thistles in running water.
    4. Bring a saucepan full of water to boil. When the water boils, salt lightly and add the thistles: cook for about an hour or until soft. Drain the thistles from the water and cover with cling film.
    5. Prepare the bechamel. In a saucepan, heat about 400 ml of milk, add salt and pepper, flavor with nutmeg and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, dissolve the flour (or any other starch) in the remaining 100 ml of milk. As soon as the milk in the saucepan begins to boil, add the dissolved starch and continue stirring until the right density is reached. Turn off the heat and season with grated Parmesan cheese.
    6. Grease a baking dish with a little butter and sprinkle with grated bread. Gather the boiled thistle stalks and cover with the béchamel. So create a couple of overlapping layers. Finish with the béchamel and sprinkle with a little grated bread.
    7. Cover the pan with aluminum and bake at 180 ° C for 20 minutes. Remove the aluminum from the pan and brown for another 5 minutes, using the grill function.

    To speed up times
    It is possible to brown the cardoons in the microwave. In this case, cover the thistles with cling film (suitable for cooking) and cook at 900W for 7 minutes. Then remove the cling film from the pan and cook for another 3 minutes in the microwave in the combined micro + grill function.

    1. Remove the thistles from the oven and serve warm.

    Alice's comment - PersonalCooker

    The pleasantly bitter taste and meaty texture won me over! For those with a sweet tooth, I recommend enriching the cardoons au gratin with pieces of ham or speck! As an alternative to cooking in the oven, you can decide to fry them with oil, salt and pepper, flavoring at the end with plenty of parsley.

    Nutritional values ​​and Health Comment on the recipe

    Baked Cardoons Gratin with Béchamel are a side dish enriched with enough energy, but no more caloric than any other seasoned. Calories come mainly from lipids, followed by carbohydrates and finally proteins. There aren't many fibers per serving, and so is cholesterol. Fatty acids tend to be of the saturated type.
    Baked Cardoons Gratin with Béchamel are suitable for any type of diet, except for the diet against celiac disease and lactose intolerance. The average portion is about 80-150g (60-110kcal).

none:  sport hypertension cured meat