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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Molecular Gastronomy Part I: Deconstructed Pesto Plate

There has been a recent trend of molecular gastronomy in the culinary world, and it has definitely intrigued me. Chefs like Ferran Adria and Grant Achatz deconstruct dishes to their simplest forms and reconstruct them in tasteful and artistic ways, combining science, food, and art. Take a look at these photos and you will see what I mean.

Here is what I know about molecular gastronomy: Step 1 - learn to deconstruct a dish. Understand the different components of a dish and how they work together. Without knowing the basics, how can you rebuild it to your own interpretation? Today, I experimented with pesto, my husband's ultimate favorite.

Lemon Cream Pasta with Pesto Salad

Components: Basil leaves, cheese, lemon, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, salt and pepper
Appetizer: Fresh bread sandwich with pesto butter, garnished with lemon peel
Salad: Basil salad with shaved parmegiano-reggiano and lemon vinaigrette
Entree: Lemon cream pasta

After using these ingredients in different ways and different forms, I think I learned a thing or two. Stay tuned for Step 2 of my molecular gastronomy adventure!

Here is what I would recommend to get started:

Molecular Gastronomy: Exploring the Science of Flavor (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History)

Molecular tools

Molecular Gastronomy Artistre Spherification Starter Kit with tools

Molecular Mixology Kit

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