Food quotations have always illustrated the essence of food in our lives. Food brings us together and breaks down barriers that would divide us. First dates invariably involve a food component, as do birthdays, christenings, funerals, weddings—and just about every holiday celebration. All incorporate food for one very significant reason: it is a way to connect and share with those who are important in our lives.
The Culinary Arts program at Camosun College strives to instill upon our students the importance of food, not just as a commercial commodity, but the important place it holds across cultures and society in general. For thousands of years stylishly presented food was a demonstration of wealth, power, and success in all civilizations. Cooks who developed their skills to the highest levels have been in high demand by the movers and the shakers around the globe from the early days of empires and kingdoms.
Modern food styling may have evolved in recent years with the advent of the smart phone camera and social media. Today, for example, we can all make our food look great with tips and ideas from Instagram, Reddit, and Facebook. But, remember, that as good as food on a plate can look, flavours will be what diners remember long after the dish has been devoured.
This month’s recipe uses a few common vegetables readily available at this time of year. Pickling vegetables and fruits is an easy way to preserve and accentuate flavours, and even colours, for a stylish presentation.
Find all of Steven’s contact info on the Camosun Culinary Arts portal listing page here on GoWestShore.
Pickled ‘Pink’ Cauliflower
500g 1 lb Cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 small Red beet, peeled & cut into small
disks or half ‘moons’
1 Shallot, thinly sliced
400ml 11/2 cups White wine vinegar
400ml 11/2 cups Water
2 cloves Garlic, sliced
30g 21/3 tbsp Course salt
20g 11/2 tbsp Sugar
Pinch of chili flakes, if desired
1. Wash and drain the cauliflower florets well, sprinkle with salt and drain in a colander.
2. Combine remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
3. Rinse cauliflower and pat dry
4. Add cauliflower into the HOT pickling mixture. Immediately remove from the heat and cool at
5. Store in glass or non-reactive containers for up to 1 month in the fridge.
NOTE: Other vegetables may be used with the cauliflower or on their own, or in different combinations
(The beet can be omitted, if colour is not required.)
Yield: 8-10 portions
125g 1/4 lb Asparagus (any green veggie works)
45ml 3 tbsp Gelatine powder
185ml 3/4 cup Whipping cream
Few drops Tabasco sauce (to taste)
Salt & white pepper
1. Cook asparagus in boiling salted water until tender. Cool quickly in cold water. Do not leave it to soak
in the water. Drain well and pat dry.
2. Puree asparagus in a food processor and push through a fine mesh sieve with the back of a spoon. Keep the puree at room temperature.
3. Soak gelatine powder in cold water (30 ml) for 10 min. and heat GENTLY until dissolved. (Do not boil.)
4. Whip the cream to firm peaks.
5. Stir the warm gelatine into the asparagus puree and then GENTLY—but quickly— fold into the whipped cream.
6. Place in a shallow pan lined with plastic wrap. Chill until set.
7. When ready to serve, turn the ‘block’ out and cut into cubes with a knife dipped in warm water, or use a dessert spoon to create egg-shaped quenelles.