feasting on art recipe contest

Floris Gerritsz von Schooten, A Still Life of Cheese, c. 1585
oil on oak panel, 39.3 x 55.2cm, Private collection

Cheese is a muse. Its history is ancient and its uses are many. To cut, to grate, to melt, to bake, to fry and, even, to be painted. Feasting on Art's recipe contest is inspired by cheese. Floris Gerritsz van Schooten, the Dutch painter, was also inspired by cheese. Many of his paintings depicted food - from still lives of breakfast or fruit to kitchen scenes and market tables. He painted A Still Life of Cheese in c. 1585. With a stack of hard cheeses and a few scattered currants, the soft lighting dresses up the cheese. Inspired by the red of the currants and the different tones of cheese, I decided to play around with a classic souffle. Caramelized red onions and Gorgonzola meet in a ramekin and become souffle. These two decadent flavours are paired with an arugula salad with a simple vinaigrette, currants and toasted pine nuts. A lot of cheese next to a handful of greens and reds. The recipe is perfect for a Friday afternoon lunch for one.

Caramelized Red Onion and Gorgonzola Souffle

inspired by Floris Gerritsz van Schotten's A Still Life of Cheese


1 small to medium red onion
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp virgin olive oil
sea salt
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 egg yolk, room temperature
2 egg whites, room temperature
2 tsp butter + butter to coat ramekin
1 tbsp pecorino romano, finely grated
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1/3 cup milk
sea salt
1/3 cup Gorgonzola

Finely slice the red onion. Melt butter over medium heat in a frying pan, then add olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add onion and salt. Stir well to coat onion and then stir occasionally. After 10-15 minutes, reduce heat to medium-low. Let cook for 30 minutes, stirring every five minutes or so to make sure that the onions do not burn or stick to the bottom of the pan. Once onions are done, set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Coat the ramekin with butter - the bottom and sides. Then coat the bottom and sides with grated pecorino romano. Set aside.

In a medium bowl (preferably metal), whisk egg whites until they form soft peaks.

Melt butter over low heat in a saucepan. Once melted, add flour and stir. Remove from heat after a minute and whisk in milk until combined. Return to heat and stir until thickened. Add fresh thyme and salt and then remove from heat. Add egg yolk and stir. Add some of the egg whites with half of the Gorgonzola. Once combined, fold in the rest of the egg whites, Gorgonzola and caramelized red onions. Pour into ramekin and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the souffle has risen and the top is browned. Do not open the oven door until ready. After a few minutes out of the oven, the souffle will collapse. Serve immediately with a light green salad.

Arugula Salad with Currants and Pine Nuts


3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
sea salt
black pepper
1/2 - 1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp minced preserved lemons
pine nuts
a generous handful of arugula

In a dry skillet over medium-low heat add pine nuts. Cook until browned, tossing the pan frequently to ensure that they do not burn. Whisk together the apple cider vinegar, sea salt, black pepper, dijon and minced preserved lemons. Add the olive oil. In a bowl toss together the arugula with the dressing. Add the currants and toasted pine nuts.


Megan @ FeastingonArt  – (March 20, 2011 at 7:12 AM)  

Hi Sasha,

Thanks so much for participating in the recipe contest. I love that you incorporated all of the ingredients and the photographs are just lovely. Good luck!

~babas~  – (April 11, 2011 at 3:21 AM)  

looks delicious, gonna try it!

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