Making canneles have been on my to do list for Sundays when I cook all day just for fun. Those tiny thimbles of carmelized goodness crept into my heart when I first had them in a cafe in St. Tropez, where they perch one jauntily on your coffee cup saucer. I would go there for a cannele fix before shopping in the outdoor market across the street.
When I was in Paris the last time I was going looking for a traditional cannele mold when I came across a Non-Stick Silicone Mold and thought it would be easier to make them in a flexible mold. This is what it looks like.
So it was with great happiness that I found a recipe in Salad as a Meal: Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season to try for my food challenge which is for canneles! Not the sweet kind, but a savory cheese one! Who doesn't love anything cheese?
I decided to pair them with a salad dish from the book called Zucchini Carpaccio with Avocado, Pistachios, and Pistachio Oil.
The first step was to pare green and yellow zucchini into paper thin ribbons, make a light dressing, drizzle it over the ribbons, and let marinate for 20 minutes.
I sliced an avocado and plated my salad.
Do I have the words within me to describe this dish?! As delicate in texture as eating flower petals, silky smooth, crunched up with salted pistachios, a dash of sunshine from the lemony dressing….then those amazing little canneles to bite into! Crusty on the outside and tender on the inside, just as a cannele should be.
Next time I am going to hide a pistachio inside each cannele. The pairing of pistachio and parmesan is amazing, especially when serving them beside this pistachio salad inspired salad.
Next time I am going to cook my canneles five minutes less, because my oven hasn't been calibrated for years and I think it may be over the proper temperature.
Next time I am going to invite friends. This is a meal I want to share. I am so proud of how it turned out, now I want to show it off! It's a show stopper.
Zucchini Carpaccio with Avocado, Pistachios, and Pistachio Oil
EQUIPMENT: A SMALL JAR WITH A LID; A MANDOLINE OR A VERY SHARP CHEF’S KNIFE.
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Lemon Zest Salt (page 306)
3 tablespoons best-quality pistachio oil (such as Leblanc) or extra-virgin olive oil
4 small, fresh zucchini (about 4 ounces each), rinsed and trimmed at both ends
1 large ripe avocado
1/2 cup salted pistachios
4 fresh lemon thyme sprigs, with flowers if possible
Fleur de sel
1. In the jar, combine the lemon juice and flavored salt. Cover with the lid and shake to blend. Add the oil and shake to blend.
2. With the mandoline or chef’s knife, slice the zucchini lengthwise as thin as possible. Arrange the slices on a platter and pour the dressing over them. Tilt the platter back and forth to coat the slices evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, so the zucchini absorbs the dressing and does not dry out.
3. Halve, pit, and peel the avocado, and cut it lengthwise into very thin slices. Carefully arrange the slices of marinated zucchini on individual salad plates, alternating with the avocado slices, slightly overlapping them. Sprinkle with the pistachio nuts. Garnish with the thyme sprigs and flowers and fleur de sel. Serve.
Salad as a Meal: Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season by Patricia Wells