One of my favorite foods since childhood is artichokes. I was recently informed (yesterday) of the difference between an artichoke and a cardoon. They are both in the thistle plant family. The cardoon is propagated for it's stem rather than it's flower (as opposed to artichoke). I have found the stem of the artichoke to be better or as good as the infamous heart. Boil or steam as much of the stalk as you can with the chokees until it is soft. Try it with a maple syrup butter sauce or olive oil, garlic and fennel. Ranch dressing works too.
The leaves as also edible but bitter depending on the variety, eaten by the romans for lower blood cholesterol and improving liver function. It has been labeled "noxious" in California and Australia, aka people consider it a weed.