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Parmesan thistles

The maturing thistle in the sand

Cervia's Sweet Cardoon - Ph. Mauro Foli




Cardo di Cervia is one of the products that fill Cervia's 0 km basket.
It is a particular variety of hunchback cardoon, and is processed entirely by hand. It ripens underground in the sand and this peculiarity helps to eliminate the typical bitter aftertaste of the vegetable, giving instead an unmistakable sweetness.

Learn more about the Cervia sweet thistle.



Parmesan thistles



  • 1 kg cardoons
  • 100 g butter
  • 100 g grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon
  • salt





Clean the cardoons, peel them and cut them into not too long pieces. Soak them in a little salted water with lemon juice for about an hour, then boil them.

Butter an oven dish and place a layer of cardoons in it, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and drizzle with melted butter. Make a second layer, season it in the same way, continuing in this way until all the ingredients have been used up.

Place the dish in the oven preheated to 150 °C and bake for about half an hour.



Recipe published in the 2022 calendar Romagna Antica and La Ciurma "Le stagioni dei bagni. Birth and development of seaside tourism in Cervia and Milano Marittima".

The image is only meant to illustrate the basic ingredient of the recipe.

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