Honey, Flowers and Pistachio

Honey, Flowers and Pistachio
El Bulli
Chef: Ferran Adrià
Country: España
City: 17480 Roses (Girona)
Address: Cala Montjoi, a 7 km. del centro urbano.
(+34) 972150457

Not to offend anyone, though it may be hard to believe (and there are many who do not want to believe it), but Ferran Adrià is capable of imagining – better yet, creating – more and better dishes than all the chefs in the world combined. We do not make this extreme statement to undermine the work of others, but simply to clarify the mental magnitude of the most visionary of all chefs, and not just at this moment in time, but throughout history. Every year he completely renovates his repertoire: more than a hundred proposals are created through the development of four or five concepts and techniques that constitute the foundation of the season’s work. From there he detracts or adds, intensifies or decreases, mixes, combines… offering distinct flavors, parings, textures, colors, shapes… unlimited possibilities. Like this gastronomic garden that opens a new world of sapid fragrances.
Ferran uses twelve to fourteen flowers in this dish – an astonishingly beautiful creation. Each flower is tasted slowly and completely separate from the others. It is a treatise on the perception of fresh aromas and perfumed flavors, and one that awakens fascinating sensations in the mind and on the palate. The guest goes from flower to flower, with the common thread of a honey and caramelized rosemary air that sweetens the experience in an ethereal, subtle way. Pistachios in different textures are hidden underneath, at the base of the plate, like an invisible surprise, more dense and with greater consistency than the rest, but also sweet and with a light bitter touch. The only conclusion is, quite simply, that it is a brilliant formula. It is hard to say whether it is a salad with a dessert flare, or a dessert served like a plate of salad, or if the symbiosis makes it impossible to discern that which goes beyond known culinary excellence.

The Recipe

Honey, Flowers and Pistachio

For the green pistachio puree

  • 110 g peeled green pistachios
  • 10 g olive oil 0’4º


1. Blend the pistachios and oil in a blender until obtaining a fine cream with no lumps.
2. Pour into a PacoJet container and freeze at –20ºC/-4ºF.
3. Once frozen, pass through the Pacojet three times and leave to thaw at room temperature.


For the green pistachio cream without cream

  • 100 g green pistachio puree (first preparation)30 g water
  • 1/2 gelatin leaf of 2 g (previously soaked in cold water)
  • salt


1. Blend the pistachios and oil in a blender until obtaining a fine cream with no lumps.
2. Pour into a PacoJet container and freeze at –20ºC/-4ºF.
3. Once frozen, pass through the Pacojet three times and leave to thaw at room temperature.


For the peeled tender pistachios

  • 40 tender pistachios


1. Remove the pistachios from their shells, taking care not to break them in the process.
2. Peel and refrigerate.


For the toasted pistachio oil

  • 25 g salted, peeled, toasted pistachios
  • 25 g sunflower oil


1. Place the pistachios and oil in a blender and break the nuts up without turning them into a paste.
2. Store the mixture in a tall, thin container for 24 hours at room temperature.
3. Afterwards, drain off the excess oil that will have collected at the top and set aside.


For the caramelized rosemary honey water

  • 600 g rosemary honey
  • 1200 g water


1. Reduce the honey over low heat until it begins to caramelize.
2. Add water until the total weight of honey and water is 1 kg.
3. Set aside.


For the air base of the caramelized rosemary honey water

  • 1 kg caramelized rosemary honey water (previous preparation)
  • 6 g lecite (lecithin)


1. Combine the two ingredients in a tall container 25 cm in diameter.
2. Mix well in an electric mixer.
3. Emulsify specifically the top part of the mixture to add as much air as possible. Foam will form on the surface and this texture is what we refer to as the “air”.


For the tender eucalyptus leaf oil

  • 10 g tender eucalyptus leaves
  • 100 g sunflower oil


1. Place the chopped eucalyptus leaves in a pan with the oil.
2. Infuse at 70ºC/158ºF for 1 hour and leave to sit off the heat for 3 more hours.
3. Strain.
NOTE: For the eucalyptus oil you must use the rounded leaves that grow near the trunk. The older, more pointed leaves have too sharp a taste.


For the grated tonka bean

  • 1 tonka bean
  • Microplane grater


1. Grate the tonka bean with the Microplane grater into long threads.
2. Store in a sealed container, in a cool, dry place.


For the fresh fennel seeds

  • 4 sprigs of fresh fennel flower


1. Separate the seeds from the fennel flowers using scissors.
2. Refrigerate.


For the shredded Szechuan button

1 Szechuan button flower


1. Shred the small bulbs that form the Szechuan button flower with the tip of a knife.
2. Refrigerate.
NOTE: The Szechuan button produces an electric effect on the palate. It is the flower from the Spilanthes Oleracea plant, originally found in the Szechuan province of China; it can also be found in Madagascar and the Amazon region. In certain parts of South America the plant is called “jambu”.


For the fresh flowers

  • 20 thyme flowers
  • 20 hyssop flowers
  • 4 carnation flowers
  • 4 white violets
  • 8 pineapple sage flowers
  • 4 lemon geranium flowers
  • 4 chrysanthemum flowers
  • 4 red begonia flowers
  • 4 white begonia flowers
  • 4 pink begonia flowers
  • 20 basil flowers
  • 20 peppermint flowers
  • 4 borage flowers
  • 8 rosemary flowers


1. Choose the flowers and separate them for 4 servings. Refrigerate in a sealed container.



  • Maldon salt
  • Method
  • Ingredients
  • Method


1. In the middle of a LUNA 4826 plate arrange the tender peeled pistachios 1 cm apart from each other, forming a circular space about 6.5 cm in diameter.
2. Intersperse 4 drops (4 g each drop) of the green pistachio cream without the cream among the peeled pistachios.
3. Dress the pistachios with a spoonful of toasted pistachio oil. Season everything with a few Maldon salt crystals.
4. Top with 4 tablespoons of caramelized honey air. Do so in a way that completely hides the pistachios below and so that the air is 2 cm high and has a flat surface on top.
5. Arrange the flowers, fennel seeds and Szechuan button on the surface of the air in a way that nothing is touching anything else.
6. Finish by adding a drop of eucalyptus oil onto the white begonia flower and 0.3 g grated tonka bean underneath the red begonia flower.

NOTE: the flowers can be substituted depending on the season, but it is very important that all the flowers used have a strong personal character.

Another version if this dish was created substituting the pistachio preparations for a piece of seared foie gras that was then cooled with nitrogen to give it the texture of a terrine, dressed with foie gras water and black truffle juice thickened with xanthan.

T: room temperature
E: 7-8


Spoon and small “tapa” fork


Begin by eating the flowers separately together with the honey air. Finish with the tender pistachio salad found underneath the air.