Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day Picnic - cauliflower and cannelini bean puree and caramelised onions

I love Picnics. I think it's a mix of that happy outdoor feeling and fantastic food. It's usually homemade, something that people have grown up with or at the very least, wonderful comfort food. With my sons allergy to eggs I miss whipping up a quiche to take to these outdoor events but there are so many other things that can be enjoyed. Here are a few..... I bought some rare roast beef; ham off the bone and some sopressa della nonna. Lovely crusty bread, juicy grape tomatoes and I made some Cauliflower and cannelini bean puree and caramelised onions. Delish!

Allow about 45 minutes to get the 2 made before you head off to your picnic.

Cauliflower and Cannelini Bean Puree
Chop up 1/2 a cauliflower into smallish pieces (the bigger the pieces the longer they will take to cook - the smaller the pieces the liklihood of burning so be careful)Pre-heat your oven to 200C and grab your oven tray. Line it with baking paper, chuck on your cauliflower pieces and liberally drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Pop in the oven and cook for 30 - 35 mins. When softened and some of the cauliflower has browned up, take out of the oven and pop in a bowl. Drain a tin of cannelini beans and rinse through with water. Add it to the cooked cauliflower and grab your bamix. Give it a whiz until smooth. (I have to say,I like it left a little chunky but it's up to you) season to taste with salt and pepper and add some more extra virgin olive oil if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature or even cold. If you have some you can dress it up with a little chopped parsley.(Also delicious with lamb cutlets and roasted cherry tomatoes)

Caramelised Onions
In a large frypan melt 40g butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Chop 3 large brown onions and add to the pan along with 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Cook over a lowish heat until they are very soft and have a lovely brown colour. (approx 25 mins) Then over a medium heat add 1/2 cup of water to the pan, give it a stir and cook until water has evaporated. Serve. Dress it up with some thyme leaves if you like. (Great with barbequed sausages and soft rolls)

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mums out there. I hope you got spoilt rotten like you deserve....xx

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