Gastronomixs

Chewy carrots, tea leaves, almond “ricotta” and preserved elderflowers

Matt Orlando started his career in San Diego, where he worked at various restaurants since the age of 15. After that he worked at different restaurants in NYC and England. He has worked for e.g. Eric Ripert, Raymond Blanc, Heston Blumenthal, René Redzepi and Thomas Keller. When he worked at The Fat Duck, he got the opportunity to become a sous chef at Noma. After 2 years, he returned to NYC to take a sous chef position at Per Se. In 2010, after working there 3 years, he moved back to Copenhagen to become the first chef the cuisine at Noma. Matt resigned this position to pursue his own dream: he became the owner and chef of Amass in 2013.

At Amass, they believe in an approach to food that not only prioritizes their guest and gastronomy, but also the environment and the future of the industry. Amass has a gold organic certification, which insures that 90% to 100% of their food and beverages are organic and free of pesticides. They source nearly 95% of their products locally, minimizing ingredient waste and saving water. Amass has an on-site garden. At the kitchen, they are constantly thinking of how to extract the most out of the ingredients without resorting to the waste bin. Matt hopes he can get his guests as inspired as the chefs at Amass are, to make the most of the ingredients we have now, so we can all protect the food we love for the future.

At Amass they use a lot of nut milks in the kitchen, but there is no other nut milk that we use more than almond. It has a sweet nutty balance that is hard to find in other nut milks. Because they use so much almond milk, they produce an extreme amount of almond pulp. Instead of concentrating the flavor, the chefs at Amass are looking for the subtle amaretto notes that are left behind. The almond “ricotta” in this recipe, really has an impact on people that cannot eat dairy. Once, a lady said she was having an allergic reaction because her mind couldn’t get over the fact that something this creamy did not contain dairy! She was ok in the end… ;-)

Because Amass has a pretty aggressive tea program, they create a lot of used tea leaves. These leaves have a tremendous amount of flavor left in them. At Amass, they have explored many ways of utilizing these leftover leaves. It is a practice that is always present on the menu in one way or another. In addition to these two techniques, the chefs use the entire carrot when processing them and pickling them. All the carrot pulp that is left over is placed in a vacuum-sealed bag and put in the dehydrator at 61 Celcius for 4-6 weeks. What comes out is black and sweet in flavor. It has a touch of bitterness and an extreme amount of depth.

6-8 servings.

Creation by Matthew Orlando, Amass restaurant, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Chewy carrots, tea leaves, almond “ricotta” and preserved elderflowers

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Ingredients

200

g

almond pulp (leftover from making almond milk)

75

g

water

4

g

salt

4

g

white wine vinegar

0.5

g

xanthan gum

1

l

water

500

g

sugar

80

g

fresh elderflower

2

kg

large orange carrots

2

kg

large yellow carrots

2

kg

large purple carrots

75

g

green tea leaves (leftover from last nights tea service)

75

g

camomille tea (leftover from last nights tea service)

 

 

apple vinegar

 

 

salt

60

g

toasted halved almonds

300

g

fresh elderflowers

 

 

salt

Preparation method: Almond “ricotta”
  • Place the almond pulp in a blender with 75g water, salt, white wine vinegar and xanthan gum.
  • Blend on medium speed until all ingredients are emulsified together.
  • Transfer to airtight container and reserve at in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Preparation method: Preserved elderflowers
  • In a sauce pot bring water and sugar to a boil for 5 minutes.
  • Cool in the refrigerator.
  • Place the sugar water in a vacuum sealed bag with the flowers.
  • Store at room temperature until the bag starts to inflate slightly. Approximately 4-5 days.
  • Store in refrigerator for up to 1 year.
Preparation method: Carrots
  • Peel all carrots and remove the stem.
  • Cut the top (the thickest end) 7 cm of 5 each of the colors of carrots.
  • On a mandolin, slice the reserved tops of each color of carrot length wise about 1 mm in thickness. Keep all the different colors separate. Reserve any trim for juicing.
  • Lay the slices of carrots on perforated trays and steam at 100°C for 6 minutes or until just tender.
  • Remove from trays and dry in a dehydrator for one hour at 61°C.
  • Remove from dehydrator and reserve each color in its own uncovered container at room temperature.
Preparation method: Pickling liquids
  • Juice all remaining carrots and trim separately.
  • Place all juices in separate pots on the stove and reduce by ¾’s.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add 50g of the moist green tea leaves to the reduced purple carrot juice, add 20g of the moist chamomile tea to the reduced yellow carrot juice.
  • Let both steep for 4 minutes, then strain through a fine sieve separately into a blender.
  • Blend on high until the juice re-emulsifies with its solids. Cool in the refrigerator.  
  • Pour the orange carrot reduction into the blender and re-emulsify. Cool in the refrigerator.
  • For the purple carrot reduction: add 13% apple vinegar to the weight of the reduction. Reserve in refrigerator.
  • For the yellow carrot reduction: add 13% apple vinegar to the weight of the reduction. Reserve in refrigerator.
  • For the orange carrot juice reduction: add 15% apple vinegar and 1% salt to the weight of the reduction. Reserve in refrigerator.
Finishing & presentation
  • To rehydrate the carrots slices, place the individually colored carrots in a container with a lid. Add just enough carrot pickling liquid to their matching dried carrots to coat. Imagine dressing a salad with vinaigrette. This should be done 1 hour prior to serving the dish.
  • Place a spoon full of the almond “ricotta” in the middle of a slightly concaved plate.
  • Cover it with the toasted almond pieces.
  • Then over the top of the “ricotta”, make a salad of intertwining carrot pieces.
  • Place small pieces of the preserved elderflower over the top of the carrots.
  • Drizzle the excess orange carrot pickling liquid around the outside of the carrots.
  • Finish by adding a few grains of salt on top of the carrots.

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