In Lyonnais, the word Canut means silk worker. This was considered a workingman's dish, but is now part of the classic Lyonnais traditional cuisine. In Lyon it is sometimes served with room temperature boiled potatoes as a first course or a light supper. I adapted this recipe from one shared with me by Chef Jean-Paul Lacombe, which he serves in his charming bistros in Lyon. Cervelle de Canut would be served as part of the cheese course or as a luncheon dessert in France. Once you've tried it, you'll think of many places to use it in your menus. —ChefJune
fromage blanc (or you can use whole milk ricotta)
white wine vinegar
finely chopped fines herbes (should include thyme, rosemary, marjoram, tarragon, chives, chervil, savory)
small shallots, very finely chopped
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
In This Recipe
With a mixer, whip the cheese and blend in the crème fraîche. Stir in the herbs and shallots and toss to mix. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Let sit overnight, if possible, to allow the flavors to blend.
This dish may be served with sliced crôutes as a part of the cheese course, or for dessert
Teacher’s Tip: This luscious cheese dish is not really a salad, but is not quite a dessert, either. When the French dine out, a cheese course is usually offered. After lunch or a casual supper, this is a favorite meal closer in Lyon.
Wine Tip: Finish off your bottle of Morgon or Juliénas Beaujolais with this spritely cheese course.