I am so excited about this recipe! Anyone who knows me – really knows me – knows that I like to be fancy. While I’m in jeans most of the time, I live for the occasion to put on my nicest heels, fanciest dress, and pearl earrings, and eat a five-course meal with champagne by candlelight. However, occasions like this are exceptional, and I can’t very well drink champagne every day, what with trying to remain candida-free and all (among other reasons, such as cost, and generally trying to be a responsible adult at least half the time…). I do, however, like to add as much “feast” to every day life as I can muster. It reminds me to celebrate life on a gloomy Tuesday, and it makes it a little more special to sit down at the table (however don’t think I’m trying to create a picture of some idyllic home life…. My kids are probably whining that I put the fork at the wrong angle or something). The point is, I like to try. And ever since I had candida, I like to make low carb, low sugar recipes that taste good, and that no one else knows are created especially for a “special diet”. Hence this recipe.
So, “terrine” is a French dish that you usually eat as a first course, and it usually consists of a pork-based paté, cooked inside a thick, butter-based flour crust, in a narrow, fairly deep cake/bread pan. It is delicious to be sure, but long and arduous to make, not to mention very heavy and full of gluten. Now, I am not against eating some rich meat from time to time, but my life is a million times better without gluten, and I am always looking for ways to sneak in extra vegetables. This recipe is perfect if you are trying to eliminate candida by avoiding all sugar and other candida-feeding irritants (pork being one of them, as well as any animal products from non-grass fed or hormone/antibiotic-laced animals). It is also perfect if you are trying to heal leaky gut syndrome and are following a low-carb/paleo diet, or the full GAPS diet. It does not include any dairy, gluten or rising agents. However, it is pretty, delicious, and is dead easy to make. I think “chou romanesco”, or romanesco cauliflower, is such a gorgeous, elegant vegetable, and if you can get your hands on it, this is such a lovely way to showcase it.
You can serve this“terrine de chou romanesco” on a single plate with a bit of rocket/arugula on the side as a garnish as an entrée, or you can have it as a light but richly satisfying meal with some lightly sautéed seasonal mushrooms like chanterelles if you can get your hands on them (use good olive oil or butter – but not both – ). Other delicious add-ons (pictured below) include really garlicky aioli, or my immunity-boosting pesto.
- 1 medium head of romanesco cauliflower, or about 650 grams
- 1 generous handful of fresh basil leaves (leave a few nice leaves aside)
- 1 generous handful of fresh chervil
- 4 eggs
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 1 tsp yellow curry powder
- ⅓ cup full fat coconut milk (or heavy cream if you have no dairy issues)
- 1 tsp coarsely ground salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 springform pan, approximately 3x10 inches
- Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius, or 335 Fahrenheit.
- First wash and dry your vegetables and herbs. Take about 200 grams, or half a small head of romanesco, and break up the filets by hand (you can cut it with a knife if you’re impatient, but it will not yield in pretty, natural looking florets). Steam for about 4-5 minutes, or until al dente. Put about a third of the florets aside.
- Put the other two thirds of the romanesco, along with all the other ingredients, in the food processor, reserving a few basil leaves for garnish. You want to mix it more than just the minimum to get a smooth texture- the longer the eggs are mixed, the frothier it will get- this way you won’t need to use any rising agents.
- Finally, spread a few of the steamed florets around the bottom of the springform pan, pour the egg/romanesco mixture on top, and decorate with remaining romanecso florets and basil/coriander leaves. Bake for 45 minutes, and let cool naturally before removing it from the pan. Cut into thick slices, and carefully slide each slice onto the center of a pretty plate.
- To up the fancy factor, drizzle a little bit of truffle oil over each slice.
*If you don't have romanesco cauliflower, you can use regular cauliflower- just be a bit more generous with the herbs if you want to attain a nice green colour.