Raw fennel pearls, risotto and emulsion
Martín Berasategui is not certainly a volcano from which creative lava violently bubbles. The level of perfection that he has demonstrated over so many years, which has propelled him to the highest heights of international gastronomy, corresponds with his capacity for reflection, maturity, his indefatigable spirit of work, his intelligence, his sense of taste, his proverbial refinement… This having been said, the greatest feast in his house is a combination of those formulas that have stood the test of time alongside new creations that he continues to produce year after year, but which are never allowed onto the menu before being certified as truly spectacular.
Every year we come across a recipe (or recipes) that deserve(s) to be highlighted in this section of the guide. For this occasion we chose the “raw fennel pearls, risotto and emulsion”. There are those who think that fennel is not appreciated enough by the general public to be included here. This might be true. Until you try this dish. Here, the fennel is presented in three textures. First, starting with a brunoise, he “fabricates” little grains as if they were rice, then prepares them like you would a risotto. Second, a foamy juice is made, also from fennel, that encircles the risotto at plating time. Last, the fennel is cut into incredibly thin pieces, as if it were not fennel at all, firm and juicy, dressed like a salad, which crowns the dish. The result is moving. A dish that should be difficult but that, on the contrary, fills the guest with satisfaction.
False risotto 2 servings
45 g fennel brunoise
15 g mascarpone
15 g rice stock (1 rounded tbsp)
7 g grated parmesan
2 g chopped chives
2 g chopped fennel threads
15 g Motte butter
15 g fennel puree (1 rounded tbsp)
For the broth:
Place the brunoise in ice water.
Drain the fennel and sweat with the butter until al dente.
Remove from heat and add the rice stock and fennel puree.
Heat for a few moments and stir in butter away from heat with the mascarpone, parmesan and chives.
Heat gently and salt to taste.
Butter to sweat the fennel
15 g butter for every 54 g chopped fennel threads
Melt the butter and sweat the fennel, without browning, for approx. 45 seconds. Drain well and stir for a few seconds until cooling.
Fennel puree = approx 300 g 10 people
70 g julienned shallots
40 g butter
200 g cream
170 g fennel
For the puree:
Sauté the shallots in butter without browning.
Add the fennel and cook for 5 minutes more.
Add the cream and cook over low heat for 6 more minutes or until the vegetables are done.
Blend in a Mycook Taurus, pass through a fine sieve and salt to taste.
This will yield around 300 grams.
Rice stock = approx 250 g
500 g rice
50 g shallots
2 garlic cloves
25 g butter
100 g white wine
200 g Monday broth
1,400 g water
For the puree:
Sweat the shallots and garlic with the butter, add the rice, white wine and reduce until dry.
Add the Monday stock and reduce again until dry.
Add the water and cook for 25 minutes as if it were a risotto.
Pass through a fine sieve, pressing strongly to remove all the starch.
This will yield around 250 grams.
Foamy fennel juice = 1/2 of the recipe yields one liter
300 g fennel
450 g heavy cream
240 g onion
900 g mussel broth
120 g butter for sweating
150 g butter for the finish
3 star anise
Salt and pepper
7 g lecithin
For the juice:
Julienne the onion and fennel.
Cook for 10 minutes with the butter.
Add the mussel broth and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.
Add the heavy cream and star anise and cook for 8 minutes more.
Pass through a fine sieve.
Emulsify with the lecithin.
This will yield around 1 L of juice.
12 g raw fennel sliced on a meat slicer as thin as possible
Virgin olive oil
For the fennel:
Use the whitest, freshest fennel available. Slice as thinly as possible on a meat slicer, place in ice water to make it even crispier.
At service, remove from the water, drain and dress lightly with a little salt, olive oil and chopped fennel.
In a semi-deep plate place one serving (1 large tablespoon, around 50 g) of the fennel risotto.
Encircle completely with the fennel foam.
Finish by topping with the raw fennel at the center of the risotto and crown with 2 amaranth sprouts and 2 celery sprouts.