Blanquette of Cauliflower

Blanquette of Cauliflower with red rice and saffron and sheep cheese rosette

I have started walking again, enjoying the countryside before heading to work, just half an hour or so, in order to kick start the auld metabolism. I have a choice of four routes to take and yesterday I went a bit further, on account of being Sunday and all, the temperatures were a bit cooler and the south west wind was keeping them little b*****ds flies away from my face. A mixed feeling of being really, really irritated and kind of defeating the purpose of a curative and relaxing walk, to right down humiliating having a cloud of buzzers following you for several kilometres…

Killeagh Cemetery – Ballinacree, Oldcastle, co. Meath

I was gone for a solid hour and a half, strolling the countryside, admiring the drifting Cumulus and Altocumulus, as far as the eye could see which is never a good sign. My father and my grandmother used to say “If you can see the Glenan Islands, it’s not a good sign!” from the shores of Mousterlin the lighthouse on Sheep Island standing proud and clear. The lower the atmospheric pressure, the further you can see, meaning that rain is on the way…

Altocumulus and cumulus over the plains of Meath…

It got me thinking that it is also Cauliflower harvest season back home, our Country is not too hot, not too cold for this easy growing Brassica, when you dock in Roscoff in September, you can see fields of them as well as artichokes… Yes, it got me thinking indeed…

Country Living

For this recipe, I based myself on an old French classic called “Blanquette”. Normally made with veal or chicken. This is a vegetarian twist to it, I hope the purists will forgive me, if not, I really don’t care. It is a type of stew I guess, with carrots white wine and rosemary, but towards the end, a mix of crème fraîche, an egg yolk and the juice of a lemon are added to it, making it really smooth and frankly delicious… Here it goes.

You’ll Need: all organic

  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Fresh oregano ( or rosemary)
  • The juice of a lemon
  • 25 cl of crème fraîche
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 150 g of red rice
  • 100 g of mature sheep’s cheese ( Caís na Tire)
  • A pinch of saffron
  • Salt and pepper
  • A touch of paprika
  • Olive oil
A few ingredients…

Portion the cauliflower in florets and the carrot in thick enough slices. Chop the onion and slice the garlic cloves. Sweat gently in olive oil, with salt, pepper, paprika and the oregano… After a few minutes, cover with water and let it reduce until cooked.

Sweating the veg

While this is happening, I decided to make some sheep’s cheese rosettes in the oven. I used Caís na Tire from Tipperary ( meaning “The Country Cheese” quite appropriate), a bit like Pecorino I guess, and it behaves like Parmigiano Reggiano in the oven, which is exactly what I am looking for. It will give a nice contrast to the dish… Simply grate less than 50 g of the cheese on a hot baking tray and in a reasonably round shape and in a hot oven it goes for about 5 minutes. Let it cool a bit, use the tip of a knife to lift them and let them rest on a kitchen towel until serving time…

Caís na Tire cheese
Cheesy Rosettes

Don’t forget to cook the rice, this one took a little longer than usual, about 25 minutes but you can do it in advance and reheat it after. The dish is nearly ready, time to get the crème fraîche, egg and lemon together; don’t forget to salt and add a bit of black pepper…

Crème fraîche, egg yolk and lemon

And that’s it, pour the crème fraîche mix over the vegetables, heat up gently and serve over the rice with the rosette of cheese on the side.

Blanquette of Cauliflower with saffron and red rice.

Keep Well and Eat Happy

Slán Tamall



16 thoughts on “Blanquette of Cauliflower

  1. I love a blanquette. Making it with a cauli is genius indeed. I’ll be a-following this recipe very soonly indeedy. As for flies …. I do know their purpose and I know we can’t live without them and I know they are ultimately do-gooding composting warriers BUT I wish they’d understand that I am not yet decaying and I do not need them buzzing around incessantly ensuring that they haven’t missed something. They haven’t. B*stards.

  2. A lovely twist on a blanquette de veau – it looks much lighter and easier to eat than the classic. Though right now rain would be a good sign! Here in London I’ve baked to a lovely apathetic puddle for long enough…

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