Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Edible Soil

Edible Soil Recipe from Andreas Viestad & Nathan Myhrvold

MAKE AHEAD: The mixture can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Makes about 2 1/3 cups

2 tablespoons dark raisins
1/4 cup mixed nuts
1/4 cup salted smoked almonds
5 ounces (2 thin slices) black bread
1/2 cup crushed dark crispbreads, such as Wasa Hearty (about 7 half-crackers; may substitute toasted bread crumbs)
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons dehydrated onion
2 tablespoons black olive paste, or more to taste
Pumpkin seed oil (optional)
Fresh shoots of vegetables and herbs, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Place the raisins, mixed nuts, smoked almonds and black bread on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes; the bread should be crisp on top. Turn off the oven and let the ingredients cool thoroughly. The raisins should dry to a hardened state. Coarsely chop the mixed nuts and almonds.

Tear the bread into bite-size pieces and place in the bowl of a food processor, along with the dried raisins, mixed nuts, almonds, crispbreads, dried porcini mushrooms and dried onion. Pulse to form a fairly even, coarse mixture. Add the olive paste, and pulse so the mixture resembles soil in color and consistency. If desired, drizzle in a little pumpkin seed oil and pulse to incorporate.

Divide the mixture among small glass serving containers. Arrange small edible shoots in the containers so they seem to be growing in the soil.

Recipe Source:
Adapted from "Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking," by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young and Maxime Bilet (The Cooking Lab, 2011).

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