My first attempt at cooking thistles worked very well. I'll be buying some more next week to try the Greek way of cooking them with lemon and egg sauce. If you pick your own thistles you want to get rid of all the green leaf and prickles leaving only the stalk and root.
500g Kenker (Thistle) chopped into 1 cm slices
2 diced onions
2 tblsp olive oil
1 tblsp tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 cup cooked chick peas or white beans
1 cup vegetable stock
salt and pepper
(250g of diced lamb is added in the Bodrum recipe, I didn't use this)
Sauté the onions in the oil for 5 mins until soft but not brown, add the kenker and garlic and carry on frying for a few minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and put over a low light to simmer. Add a little more stock if it gets too dry, but the roots give up quite a lot of liquid. They are ready when the roots are completely soft. Mine took 90 minutes but were worth waiting for. I was told they would cook in 30 minutes and reading around the subject, it seems that the type of ground the thistles grow in makes a big difference to how tough they are. Mine must have come off the side of a mountain.