Cervelle de Canut

Cervelle de Canut
In French, this curious name means "silk-weaver's brain", but don't be alarmed, this tasty "brain" consists of cottage cheese mixed with herbs, vinegar and finely chopped shallots.

The Canuts were the silk weavers in the area around Lyon, France. In the nineteenth century this was one of their favourite dishes.
18K 2 3.5
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Last modified on: August 1st 2021

Keywords for this recipe:
For 500 g, you will need:

Change these quantities to make: 250 g 500 g 1 kg 1 kg 500 g
How long does it take?
Time required for this recipe:
PreparationRestingStart to finish
21 min.1 hour1 hour 21 min.
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Step by step recipe

Stage 1 - 1 hour
Cervelle de Canut
Thoroughly drain 400 g cottage (or curd) cheese: put in a strainer over a bowl and leave for at least 1 hour.

Stage 2 - 10 min.
Cervelle de Canut
Meanwhile, peel 3 shallots and 2 cloves garlic. Prepare the chives and parsley.

If you can, pick a few chive flowers as well.

Stage 3 - 3 min.
Cervelle de Canut
Chop the shallots and garlic cloves very finely.

Stage 4 - 2 min.
Cervelle de Canut
Chop the parsley and chives.

Stage 5 - 2 min.
Cervelle de Canut
Transfer the drained cottage cheese to a bowl, add 4 tablespoons liquid cream and beat with a whisk to loosen the cheese.

Stage 6 - 2 min.
Cervelle de Canut
Salt and pepper, then add 4 tablespoons olive oil and 4 tablespoons white (spirit) vinegar. Beat again to mix well.

Stage 7 - 2 min.
Cervelle de Canut
Add the shallots, herbs and the chive flowers if you have some, and mix these in with a spoon.

Check the seasoning.

Your Cervelle de Canut is ready.

Stage 8
Cervelle de Canut
You can enjoy it on fingers of toast...

Stage 9
Cervelle de Canut
...as an aperitif snack.

Stage 10
Cervelle de Canut
Or as part of a meal with, say, steamed potatoes.
The amounts given are for guidance, so do adapt them, a little more of this or less of that, to suit your taste.

The herbs can be whatever you prefer: parsley and chives as here, or chervil and tarragon, which also work well.
1 or 2 days in the fridge, covered with plastic film.
Home made.
Nutritional information
Whole recipe
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
1,207 Kcal or 5,053 Kj48 gr39 gr95 gr
60 %18 %4 %14 %
Per 100 g
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
179 Kcal or 749 Kj7 gr6 gr14 gr
9 %3 %1 %2 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).
Possible allergens in this recipe: Milk, Sulfites
How much will it cost?
  • For 500 g : 2.60 €

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Note: Be careful, these prices are only an estimate, you can consult the table of prices by ingredients used for this estimate.
This recipe uses (among others)
Cottage (or curd) cheese Cottage (or curd) cheese : You can check-out other recipes which use it, like for example: Frozen cottage cheese with strawberries, ... All
Liquid creamLiquid cream: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Shallot confit tart, Cream of cauliflower soup with smoked haddock , Firied fillet of sea bream with polenta, Frozen Nougat, Eton mess, ... All
Olive oilOlive oil: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Enchiladas, Fish petals, vegetables julienne, and beurre blanc, Scrambled eggs and leeks on toast, Avocado and smoked salmon terrine , Pumpkin and red-bean tortillas, ... All
White (spirit) vinegarWhite (spirit) vinegar: You can check-out other recipes which use it, like for example: How to prepare sorrel, Béarnaise sauce, Mackerel Fillets in White Wine, Caesar salad, Poached eggs, ... All
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