To add a bit of breadth to my post this week, I have asked a home cook about her favourite food combination and a recipe in which she applies it. Mandy, the gourmet enthusiast (also known as my mother), described to me why she loves putting blue cheese and cauliflower together.
If your not too fond on the pungent substance known as blue cheese, I guarantee you are eating it wrong. With its mouldy appearance and foot odour scent, I don’t blame you if you are having trouble with this one…
Pairing it with cauliflower sounded crazy to me at first… Two neglected and commonly seen as off-putting ingredients together in the one dish? I think the saying ‘two negatives make a positive’, fits perfectly here, and Mandy has helped me understand why.
Cauliflower – If your thoughts immediately travel to dinner at your Grandmothers with boiled cauliflower, wilted cabbage and chewy roast meat, we must change this instantly. Often shunned for its blandness, colourless and ‘broccoli’ qualities, when we treat it right, it becomes something beautiful. Mandy describes that “roasting the cauliflower in a bit of olive oil brings out a nutty and earthy flavour”, something that is completely different from simply boiling or steaming it. When paired with a rich and salty blue cheese, the earthiness is highlighted, making it very flavourful.
She finds that a creamy blue cheese blends well with the creamy qualities of the cauliflower and makes it even more palatable. Mandy loves blue cheese as it is “sharp and strong, so you don’t really have to do much too it”.
When you think about it… something so strong, salty and pungent (like a blue cheese), paired with something essentially bland and neutral (cauliflower) makes sense! They cancel each other out!
Her favourite meal that she cooks which combines the two is her Roasted Cauliflower and Blue Cheese Pizza. Using a very thin base, she covers it with olive oil, blue cheese and breaks up the roasted cauliflower over the top before baking it until golden brown. I recommend trying this one rather than your usual Hawaiian or Margherita pizza, you will be pleasantly surprised!