Cervelle de canut is one of the most interesting and surprising discoveries I made when I visited Lyon (France) for a couple of days last summer. Lyon, culinary hunting ground of famous French top chef Paul Bocuse, is a lovely city dominated by the rivers Rhône and Saône. This French cheese spread is a refreshing explosion of flavors in the mouth and obviously meant to cleanse the palate after a Burgundy dinner. Indeed, this is basically a dessert! A very hearty and frugal one if you like. But I don't want to frighten off some taste buds here so today I'm preparing it as an appetizer served as a dipping sauce with toasted bread accompanied by a fresh tomato salad. Freshly sliced radishes also match perfectly with this cheese spread. If you find it too runny, add more quark cheese.
For anyone who cares: the name of the dish means "the silk weaver's brain". There were plenty of weavers in Lyon long time ago. This city used to be an important hotspot for the textile business a few centuries ago. So was it meant as a macabre tribute or an ironic joke the higher bourgeoisie invented to amuse themselves during high tea? Anyway, this recipe is a no-brainer for sure.
Ingredients for 6 persons
Finely chop the shallot. Whip the heavy cream for a minute. Chop the
fresh parsley and chives very thinly. Combine the quark cheese and the
whipped cream. Add the shallots, freshly chopped herbs, garlic puree,
olive oil and vinegar. Season with a little pepper and salt to taste.
Chill the cheese dip for 30 minutes. Serve with toasted bread.
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