Cervelle de canut
The cervelle de canut is a cheese specialty from Lyon (usually made by the cheese shops) made of fromage blanc en faisselle (similar to cottage cheese) mixed with creme fraiche and the addition of fresh herbs, garlic and shallots. To finish it off, it’s seasoned with salt, pepper, walnut oil and vinegar. It is usually served as a snack on fresh or toasted bread, it’s a perfect summer appetizer.
Each version can vary slightly. For example, I have added a small amount of fresh goat’s cheese in this recipe.
- 200 grams of fromage blanc or cottage cheese
- 50 grams of fresh goat’s cheese
- 100 ml of creme fraiche
- 2 teaspoons of finely chopped shallots
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons of chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped chives
- 1 small fresh onion (spring salad onion) finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons of walnut oil
- 1 tablespoon of a vinegar of your choice
- Salt and pepper to taste.
I also found this amazing gourmet delicatessen shop (epicerie) where I got my walnut oil from in Lyon. I can really highly recommend this shop for top quality produce (which is an official Fauchon reseller too !). If you find yourself in Lyon it’s worth checking out.
Epicerie sur cours 72 cours docteur long 69003 lyon. http://www.epiceriesurcours.com/
and now for the recipe.
Mise en place:
As always start with the food preparation. the first thing to do is to drain your fresh cheese (fromage blanc or cottage cheese) by placing it in a sieve with a bowl under so that the excess water can drain off. leave the cheese in the fridge for ideally 30 minutes. in the meantime chop all of the herbs, shallot garlic and fresh onions and have them ready to use.
Making the cheese dip:
this particular recipe is more of an assembly than anything else but there are steps to follow.
- start by adding your drained cheese into a large bowl and whisk it well (that incorporate some air into the cheese and make it lighter)
- add the goat cheese (optional) and mix well.
- finally add the creme fraiche and whip again ( just 10 seconds or so)
- season with the salt and pepper, add the vinegar and mix well.
- finally add all of the herbs, garlic, onions and shallot. then use a wooden spoon to mix the whole lot.
- when done place the cheese in the fridge to rest for 30 minutes to an hour. ( that leaves time for the flavors to infuse in the cheese.
Serving the cervelle de canut:
this lovely cheese dip is best served with toasted or fresh bread. but you can also use as a dip for fresh and crunchy vegetables too.
if you want to server wine, the cervelle de canut marries well with a good white Beaujolais or Chablis wine.