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Cauliflower Purée with Mushroom Compote
What to Serve
Cauliflower Purée with Mushroom Compote
Early Summer 2009
By: Lucy Waverman

This type of dish was featured in different forms in bistros in Paris recently. The purées were different (try Jerusalem artichoke in the fall), but the effect of a rich, creamy purée topped with a luscious mushroom compote is a real palate pleaser. The purées should hold their shape and not be as thin as soup.

1⁄2 cup (125 mL) peeled, diced Yukon gold potatoes
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3 cups (750 mL) milk
1 1⁄2 lbs (750 g) cauliflower, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) chunks, about 6 cups (1.5 L)
1⁄3 cup (75 mL) whipping cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice

Mushroom Compote

3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
1⁄4 cup (50 mL) chopped shallots
1 tsp (5 mL) chopped garlic
1 1⁄2 lbs (750 g) mixed mushrooms, halved or quartered if large
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1⁄4 cup (50 mL) red wine
2 cups (500 mL) homemade or low-sodium beef or chicken stock
1⁄4 cup (50 mL) butter cut in cubes
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped parsley
6 slices Baked Bacon (recipe follows)

1. Place potatoes, garlic and milk in a pot over medium-high heat. Bring to boil and add cauliflower. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes and cauliflower are very tender. Drain liquid and reserve separately.

2. Place vegetables in a food processor with 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) drained liquid and whipping cream and purée until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and lemon juice. Add more cooking liquid if needed to make a soft purée. Reheat when needed.

3. Place oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add shallots and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and thyme and sauté for 4 minutes or until mushrooms lose their juices. Season with salt and pepper. Remove mushrooms from skillet and reserve skillet with any remaining liquid.

4. Add wine and bring to boil. Add stock and any more mushroom juices and reduce for 5 minutes or until stock thickens slightly. Reduce heat to low and stir in butter. Sauce will thicken a bit more. Stir in reserved mushrooms and simmer for 2 minutes or until mushrooms are coated in sauce. Adjust seasoning if necessary and stir in parsley.

5. Place a ladleful of cauliflower purée in a soup bowl. Top with mushrooms and some sauce. Garnish each dish with a slice of Baked Bacon laid across the dish.

Serves 6

Baked Bacon

Baking the bacon using this method gives you flat slices—a great look for garnishing. Make more and it keeps for a week. However you can use regular fried bacon if you wish. Baking time varies depending on how thick the bacon is.

6 slices double-smoked bacon
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay bacon on top and sprinkle with pepper. Add another piece of parchment, then top with a second baking sheet.

3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes (depending on thickness) or until bacon is crisp. Reheat, uncovered on baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes when needed.

Makes 6 slices
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