Monday, June 8, 2009

Whipped Cauliflower and Watercress with Goat Cheese

I recently finished the book Julie and Julia, a wacky tale of an unsatisfied secretary who, in an attempt to bring meaning back to her life, vows to cook all 524 recipes in julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1, in one year's time. As you can imagine, the book is chock-full of buttery, creamy dishes, not to mention the occassional eggs/chicken in aspic. But one recipe in particular stuck with me: a cauliflower watercress puree with bechamel sauce and cheese. A bit heavy, yes. But I really liked the idea.

So a few days ago, when we finally decided to pull that thick New York strip steak out of the freezer, I thought a lighter version of the puree would be an excellent accompaniment. Instead of a creamy white sauce and melted cheese, a few dollops of fresh goat cheese were stirred into a lightly steamed vegetable puree. The results were certainly not as indulgent as Julia Child intended but delicious nonetheless.

Whipped Cauliflower and Watercress with Goat Cheese

A fantastic sidekick to roasted or grilled meats.

1 head cauliflower, washed and chopped into florets
1 bunch watercress, washed well
3 cloves garlic, crushed

Whole milk
Notch of butter
1/3 cup fresh goat cheese

Salt and peper to taste

In a large pot with 2 inches of boiling, salted water, cook cauliflower florets and crushed garlic cloves until cauliflower is just tender, about 8 miutes. Add watercress and continue cooking, covered, until greens have wilted, about 2 minute
s. Drain and transfer to a food processor. Blend, adding milk as needed, until desired consistency is reached.

Transfer back to pan and heat gently over low heat. Swirl in but
ter and goat cheese; season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.

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