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The Cardoon - Cynara cardunculus – from the Asteraceae family is a biennial vegetable plant cultivated for the ribs of its foliage. The plant itself is very decorative with its highly cut foliage, usually spiny - except the Inerme White Cardoon - of a very characteristic grey-blue or silvery colour and producing large indigo to violet thistle-like flowers. Pre-blanched, the cardoon rib or stalk can be cooked in gratins, in purees, with bone marrow or as a side dish with meats. The Cardoon is rich in fibre, minerals and carbohydrates - including inulin - and is said to have liver-cleansing properties.

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