Gastronomixs

Kale, hemp, and grilled oysters

Nicolai Nørregaard grew up on the Danish island of Bornholm, located in the Baltic Sea. As the island is isolated, his parents were often dependent on products harvested from nature and on local farmers. Together with Magnus Høegh Kofoed and Rasmus Kofoed, Nicolai opened restaurant Kadeau on the island in 2007. They wanted to introduce people to the products and natural elements that the island has to offer. In contrast to many well-known chefs, Nicolai has no culinary background or schooling. In the first year that the restaurant opened, Nicolai worked together with several chefs who taught him a great deal until he was ready to take on the role of chef himself. To Nicolai, his lack of culinary background is an advantage, as his creativity is not restricted by knowledge and theory. He was never exposed to the traditional dos and don'ts of cooking and is willing to explore every option.

Kadeau is inspired by living in nature and the local farmers on Bornholm. Nicolai uses hand-picked fruits, herbs, berries, and flowers in his elegant dishes and often applies techniques such as preserving, drying, salting, and ageing. In 2011, Nicolai, Magnus, and Rasmus opened a second restaurant under the same name in Copenhagen. In the high season in July and part of August, the restaurant in Copenhagen is closed and the restaurant on Bornholm is open.

Nicolai explains the dish that he has created: ‘Not a lot of people know about the culinary qualities of hemp. The type we use contains no THC, but is packed with flavour. Its aromatic taste goes really well with molluscs from the Danish sea. We serve it with oysters from the Limfjord and kale from the garden which is blanched in water that tastes like the ocean. The hazelnuts that my father picked give a wonderful texture to the dish. Enjoy!’

Creation by Nicolai Nørregaard, Kadeau* restaurant, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Serves 4

Kale, hemp, and grilled oysters

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Ingredients

24

 

leaves from different types of kale and mustard greens, rinsed

3

l

water

30

g

kombu, dried

30

g

dulse, dried

60

g

salt

250

g

green kale, fresh

50

g

parsley leaves, rinsed and drained

100

g

grape seed oil

4

 

oysters

2

 

oysters and the oyster water

25

g

chopped parsley

25

g

chopped fresh hazelnuts

½

 

lemon, juice

 

 

salt

50

g

hemp leaves, rinsed and drained

100

g

grape seed oil

4

 

oysters and the oyster water

100-150g

 

grape seed oil

 

 

salt

Preparation method: parsley oil
  • Heat oil and parsley to 80°C on medium heat. When the temperature is reached, blend for ten minutes and strain.
Preparation method: hemp oil
  • Blend the oil and the leaves on high speed for two minutes.
  • Place the oil with the pulp in an airtight bag. Store the oil in the fridge and strain it just before using it. Wait at least two days before using.
Preparation method: kale powder
  • Dry the peas at 45°C for 24 hours or until dry. Blend into a fine powder.
  • Keep away from light to keep the colour. Best stored in the freezer.
Preparation method: oyster vinaigrette
  • Open the oysters and set the water aside. Chop the oyster into 3mm pieces.
  • Add the hazelnuts, parsley, lemon juice, a spoonful of hemp, and the parsley oil. Season to taste with salt. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Preparation method: oyster emulsion
  • Open the oysters and set the water aside. Blend the oysters with the lemon juice, half of the oyster water, and slowly add the oil.
  • Season to taste with salt when the emulsion is thick and creamy. If necessary, adjust the texture with some oyster water. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Preparation method: grilled oysters
  • Start a fire with beech wood. Grill the oysters over the flames. Depending on the size and type of oyster, grill it on the lid for one to three minutes, turn, and grill for another one to three minutes.
  • When you see steam coming out from the shell, it is done.
  • Open the oyster if it is not open yet. Discard the grey part of the oyster and cut the big white muscle into four slices. This should be done two minutes before plating.
Preparation method: blanched kale bunches
  • Assemble the kale bunches. Keep the biggest leaves at the bottom and the smaller leaves on top. Make four bunches of six leaves each. Bring the water to the boil.
  • Remove from the heat. Add the kombu, dulse, and salt to the water. Wait 30 minutes. Heat the water to 90°C.
  • Fold the kale bunch like a taco and use tweezers to hold it together while blanching for twenty seconds. Make this just before serving.
Finishing and presentation
  • Put a spoonful of oyster emulsion in the centre of the plate. Unfold the blanched kale bunch while still warm.
  • Add four slices of grilled oyster and one spoonful of oyster vinaigrette. Fold it again.
  • Dust with pea powder and put the kale bunch onto the emulsion, covering half of it. Serve. 

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