Cauliflower Velouté

By Chef Sarah Pliner of Aviary in Northeast Portland

This is a complex soup with quite a lot going on, and the Brooks 2008 Amycas (a blend of Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Chardonnay, Muscat and Riesling) participates on every level.  Loads of Bosc pear on the nose work nicely with the cauliflower, and the beautiful floral notes — mainly roses — is gorgeous with the shiso purée. The Muscat, Riesling and Gewürz have great aromatics and pair well with the candied chestnuts — both the nuts and the wine have restrained sugar. The finish on this wine has enough bright acidity to cut the cream of the soup and is clean enough to match the caviar.”   - Leah Moorhead, Aviary wine director/general manager


1½ yellow onion, diced

1 head cauliflower, sliced thin

1 cup milk

1 cup cream

1 cup water

½ cup crème fraiche

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 vacuum-packed chestnuts, sliced thin

1½ tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon butter

15 shiso leaves

* xanthan gum

* salt and pepper


1. Soup: Sweat the onion in the olive oil with salt and pepper until soft; add the cauliflower, milk, cream and water. Cook until cauliflower is very soft. Purée in a blender with crème fraiche. Add more water if it is too thick, and adjust the seasoning. 2. Chestnuts: Coat the bottom of a sauté pan with a thin layer of sugar, cook on low heat until the sugar begins to caramelize. Add the chestnuts and a little bit of salt; allow the caramel to coat the chestnuts, and then deglaze with the butter. 3. Shiso Purée: Blanch the shiso leaves in boiling water for 45 seconds, then shock in ice water. Purée them with some of the ice water, a tiny bit of salt and just enough xanthan gum to thicken. If you don’t have xanthan gum, use less water. Pour the soup into a bowl, add the chestnuts, drizzle the shiso purée, and float a spoonful of caviar on top.


Brooks 2008 Amycas

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