Cardoni in Pastella (Fried cardoons) is a typical recipe from the city of Palermo, simply made of boiled cardoons, passed in batter and then fried.
This recipe with cardoons is prepared usually during before the winter time but especially during the Christmas holidays and in particular for the feast of the Immaculate on the 8th of December. In fact, Tradition wants the Immacolata to open the Christmas festivities and that it is common to meet on the evening of December 7th to start the festivities.
The typical menu of the Immaculate is sfincione, fried thistles in batter (“Carduna in pastella”) and sfince (small balls of fried bread dough passed in sugar and cinnamon).
Clean the cardoons and put them in a pot with enough water, let it boil.
While boiling, add Salt, juice of 1 lemon and a spoon of flour.
Let them boil for 50-60 minutes.
In a bowl put the flour and salt, then mix.
In a cup, start mixing the yeast with water and a pinch of sugar.
Start adding the yeast mixture and the warm water into the bowl with the flour. Mix until necessary (adding water if needed, for 250gr of flour use approx 400ml of water) to get a thick batter.
Cover the bowl with a cloth and let it rest for 2 hours.
Take the cardoons out of the pot and let them rest a bit. Use a bit of kitchen paper to remove the water in excess and then cut them to the size that you prefer.
When the batter is ready (you should see some bubble in it!) start warming up the sunflower oil in a medium pan.
Take one cardoon at the time and dip it into the batter, then fry it!
The oil needs to be medium hot, or it will burn the batter on the outside!
Remove them when perfectly gold and crispy!