Vegetable foie gras (Avocado)

Vegetable foie gras (avocado)
Cuoco: Josean Martínez Alija
Nazionalita: España
Localita: 48001 Bilbao (Vizcaya)
Indirizzo: Abandoibarra Etorbidea, 2
(+34) 944239333

Josean Martínez Alija is, by a large margin, the best chef of the vegetable kingdom. He excels in this category when he tackles it exclusively, and it is a terrain he visits regularly. Stellar creations include the cucumber-melon salad with mint, kefir and grapefruit aromas; Sahagún leek confit with pork juices and nutmeg; carrots and their juices over beets… and the glorious roasted eggplant threads with licorice and olive oil yoghurt, a formula that deserves to be included in the Artistic Dishes of the Year section, and with high honors. What has happened is that this chef, who has risen in the rankings this year to a 9.25, has received two awards in this category as well as the Patissier of the Year, which may seem to us excessive but certainly deserved.
In this recipe we find a brilliant testimony to artistic minimalism. A cut of avocado, the fattiest of all fruits, that emulates a piece of foie gras. The avocado is “steamed” in its own juices to 75ºC, preserving its body, consistency, meatiness, creaminess and immaculate flavor–this fruit has never been treated in such a natural, intelligent fashion. Raw and hot, or even lukewarm. It almost seems like vegetable version of Iberian ham, satiating with its flavors. Succulence both green and fatty, supported by a profound broth of baby squid with incredible aromas, acidulated and perfumed with cilantro that adds magic and nuances to something so humble yet exceptional. The most important avocado dish in history.

La Ricetta

Ingredients for 4 servings

Mussel broth

3 shallots
125 g onions
A small amount of leek, thyme and celery stalk
125 g white wine
100 g water
1 kg mussels
Olive oil
Salt and pepper


Sweat the onion, shallot, green part of the leek, the thyme,
and celery stalk in a few drops of olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the white wine and cook for 5 minutes without giving it too much heat. Add the mussels and water, a few healthy turns
from the pepper grinder, cover the pot and leave to boil for three minutes. After
these three minutes, leave to sit covered for an additional three minutes.
Strain and reserve the liquid for the base of the broths and the mussels separately.

Baby Squid, in Gastrovac


100 g julienned onions
500 g fresh baby squid without the ink
250 g mussel broth


In a pot, sweat the shallot, add the chopped baby squid, a dash of salt, sweat
for a few moments, add the mussel broth and pour this mixture in the Gastrovac. Cook at 50ºC.
Once the temperature is reached cook for 30 minutes. Next, pass through a
fine sieve and clarify with 1 egg white for every kilo of broth.

Baby squid, cilantro and lemon vinegar broth:


300 g baby squid broth
8 g finely chopped cilantro leaves
15 g lemon vinegar


Boil the broth and add the chopped cilantro. Cover with plastic wrap once removed from heat
and leave to infuse for 5 minutes. Strain, add the lemon vinegar and pass through a cheesecloth if necessary. Salt to taste and serve. The broth infusion and the lemon vinegar should be done the day of service.

Conger eel fumet

50 g extra virgin olive oil
100 g shallots chopped into thin rounds
150 g onion chopped into thin rounds
50 g green leeks in thin rounds
110 g mushrooms sliced into thin rounds
1 kg conger eel tails cut into 3 cm pieces
Clean well and cut into pieces to remove any trace of blood from the bones
8 g rock salt
50 g white wine
1.25 kg water
A bouquet garni comprised of leek (green part only) and parsley

1- Sweat the onion, mushrooms, shallots and leeks in olive oil
for 5 minutes. Once softened, add the fish pieces and bones. Increase the heat and sauté for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2- Season lightly. Add the wine and boil for 15 seconds to reduce the acidity. Add the water and the bouquet garni, comprised of leek (green part only) and parsley. Leave to boil for 20 minutes over low heat.
3- Remove from heat and leave to sit for 10 minutes.
45- Pass through a fine sieve and clarify if necessary. Move to a sous-vide bag and store in the walk-in if you are going to use it within the following 4 days. If not, move to a
sous-vide bag and freeze.

Avocado flower fumet

500 g conger eel fumet
10 g avocado flowers (chopped without stems)

Bring the fumet to a boil in a pot. When it starts to boil add the chopped avocado flowers, remove from heat and cover. Leave to sit for 5 minutes and strain, pressing lightly. Store in the walk-in.

Avocado steamed with avocado flowers

2 small avocados
500 g avocado flower fumet

Cut the avocado down the middle and remove the pit. Peel and season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg on both sides. Have the steamer ready with the fumet of avocado flower. Place the avocado halves in the steamer with the concave part face up. Cover and steam. Cook for 6 minutes after it begins to boil. Steam over low heat. When finished, take care to maintain the internal temperature between 75 and 80ºC.

Other ingredients
Añana salt
Cilantro flowers
Hazelnut oil

Season with hazelnut oil, brushing the entire surface of the avocado, along with a dash of nutmeg. Arrange the grains of salt and cilantro flowers and serve carefully.