Trying to stick to a Mediterranean diet? You may want to add cardoons to your cooking repertoire. This thistle-like perennial Mediterranean native plant is closely related to artichokes, though the edible part is a silvery green-gray stalk, similar to celery—and it tastes like a combination of the two.

The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) says the best way to cook cardoons is to trim the leaves and peel the stalk to remove the rough, indigestible part. The stalk can then be sautéed, boiled in soups and stews, or even dipped in batter and fried. When boiled with salt, ½ cup (100 grams) of cardoons provides 392 milligrams of potassium, 43 mg of magnesium and 22 micrograms of folate.