We welcome the first ‘nut’ hero ingredient to our menu in May – almonds. Technically a fruit closely related to the peach family (which makes sense if you’ve ever broken open a peach pit to reveal an almond-like seed inside), this exquisite, tear-shaped fruit is enjoyed as a nut and has a welcome place in all sorts of meals from breakfast, to drinks through to dessert. Similarly, we’ll be taking the almond and threading it through each course of our degustation in May from the initial snacks through to petit fours.
We won’t be hard-pressed to find beautiful ways to highlight the almond across each of the tasting plates. At first thought, there’s raw, toasted, ground, slivered, and crushed almonds plus almond milk, butter, flour, paste and oil that contribute texture, flavour and depth to dishes and snacks. Additionally, spring is just the right time for the lesser-known green almonds to bloom on their medium-sized, deciduous blossom trees and are a culinary treat.
With their soft, fuzzy exteriors, green almonds (unripe almonds also known as a stone fruit) actually resemble an unripe peach, and are picked before the almond has a chance to fully develop its hard shell. You’ll find them at farmer’s markets between mid-April to mid-June so we’ve hit the sweet spot by hosting our almond month in May. Most of the time you can eat the entire green almond with its fuzzy flesh and gelatinous almond inside (especially good when super fresh). Slightly older green almonds often sport a bitter flesh, so it’s best to discard that and enjoy the milky white jelly almond inside. Keep your eyes peeled for these almond stone fruits over the next couple of weeks and use in soups, stews, salads and pasta or pickle them for use months down the track.
White asparagus, quail, cuttlefish, sweetbreads, almond ricotta, baby gem lettuce are just a small window into the additional fresh ingredients that we’ll feature in May, along with a possible Maude rendition on a Paris-Brest - a dainty wheel-shaped French pastry that was first made in 1910 to honor the long distance Paris-Brest-Paris cycling event. Long live the Paris-Brest, which continues to receive high praise and is found prominently in patisseries all over France.
Reservations for our March menu open on Tuesday 3rd February 2015.