Saturday, February 02, 2008

Romanesco & Red Bean Gratin

One great thing about writing a food blog is you can try whatever food combinations you like. No need to worry about tradition, unless you wish to, no pesky editor to shoot down a creative idea.

I rarely plan a dish ahead of time these days. I purchase produce based on what looks best and challenge myself to come up with something new and rewarding.

Truth is, I probably would have used an Italian cheese to make the sauce for this Romanesco & Red Bean Gratin if I'd had one available. But, I didn't so I improvised and the result was show-stopping! What cheese did I use? Tintern, a sharp and creamy Welsh cheese with shallots and chives. The combination really worked.

Romanesco is the prettiest vegetable:

Originally from Northern Italy, the Romanesca cauliflower (also known as Broccoli Romanesco and Chou Romanesco) has the texture of a cauliflower, but tastes much more like mild sweet broccoli, with a slighty nutty flavor.

I steamed the florettes until almost cooked. Then mixed them with the red kidney beans and topped them with a simple roux made with grated Tintern cheese. Broiled for 2-3 minutes. A delicious and comforting winter supper. Soak up any extra sauce with bread.


Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Your cooking has been reminding me of Ilva's. So simple, with unexpected flavors.

11:28 AM  
Blogger LisaRene said...

Lovely dish! It is fun to make up food combinations with what is available. I tend to do that on Monday's since they are a horrible day to go grocery shopping and I always have an assortment of odds and ends leftover from the previous weeks shopping.

3:01 PM  
Blogger zippiknits said...

That is a very beautiful vegetable. I love what you've done with it, too. Thanks. I'll look for Romanesque at the farmer's markets.

And happy 2nd anniversary to you.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Holler said...

Wow, I have never seen Romanesco before! Gorgeous, gorgeous vegetable and nice dish too! I have had some of that cheese and it is real good! Clever combination and great photos!

5:57 PM  
Blogger aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Ooooh, lovely. And you're right - Romanesco is incredibly pretty!

5:14 AM  
Anonymous aurélie said...

i never thought about combining romanesco cauliflower and red beans, but it looks really pretty and well worth the try!

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Justin Marx said...

Looks like a fantastic dish...but, when they were peaking in my market, I simply steamed them and it was delicious.


3:45 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

welcome, forkful, aurelle, and justin - thanks for your comments! I like them steamed too, but I think a cheese sauce makes them pow!

The green and red colors is what got me to this combo. Enjoy!

4:58 PM  

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