This rich but tasty meal was based around a piece of cauliflower and a small piece of blue cheese that were in the fridge....the fact that I had been wanting to make gnocchi for a few weeks inspired the rest of it. It also allowed me to use up some whipping cream, parsley and pinenuts.
Cauliflower and blue cheese are a perfect pairing, the cream sauce carried the flavours and the pinenuts added some crunch. Very filling, incredibly rich but so full of flavour.
- Blue cheese is great to use with cauliflower, but it as also good to use in a cream sauce as the strong flavoured cheese cuts the richness of the cream. Use cheese such as Stilton, Roquefort or Gorgonzola.
- Goat cheese can be used instead of blue cheese if you like.
- Blanching the cauliflower first gets the cooking off to a head start. You can then finish cooking it quickly, at a high heat to caramelize the natural sugars and crisp the outside, and still have it cooked to perfection...no more than a slight crunch.
- Caramelizing the cauliflower in the pan before adding the cream will bring the cauliflower flavour into the sauce; the Parmesan rind, garlic cloves and rosemary infuse more flavour.
- Season lightly with salt and pepper during each stage of cooking; I find blue cheese can often be on the salty side, so I like to leave the final adjustments to the very end. The saltiness can also intensify as the cream reduces during cooking.
- The sauce can be used with pasta.
- If the sauce reduces too much, add some of the cooking water from the gnocchi to thin it. This water was also used to blanch the cauliflower, so it will add flavour as well as adjust the consistency of the cream sauce.