As described by Reale, this dish is: “a sweet-non-sweet dessert with a complex and intense flavor, born from a continuous research on the products grown in Casadonna’s gardens.”

Ingredients

For the Yogurt

  • 250g Buffalo yogurt
  • 250g lemons

    For the Sage Extract

    • A bunch of fresh sage

    For the Roasted Peppercorn Powder

    • A handful of Sichuan peppercorns

    For the Almond Water

    • 90g almonds (whole and peeled)
    • 110g water

    For the Nut Biscuits

    • 500g hazelnuts (peeled)
    • 20g water
    • 50g egg whites

    For the Candied Lemon

    • 2 lemons
    • 50g sugar
    • 10g salt

    For the Lemon Syrup

    • 150g lemon juice
    • 2 lemons
    • 90g water
    • 70g refined sugar

    Method

    For the Almond Water

    1. Peel the almonds and blend them with water until they become a cream.
    2. Sieve the emulsion to make it smoother.
    3. Rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

    For the Nut Biscuits

    1. Blend the hazelnuts with water, sift them and combine with the egg whites and until you obtain a creamy texture.
    2. Whip the cream in a siphon and plunge it into hot water at a temperature less than 60°C for 15 minutes.
    3. Dispense some of the warm whipped nut cream into a little glass and cook it in the microwave for 1 minute.
    4. Then bake the biscuit in the oven at 30°C for 30 minutes.

    For the Candied Lemon

    1. Cut the lemon into thick (1.5cm) slices.
    2. Pack the slices into a vacuum-seal bag and then add the sugar and salt. Close the bag and shake it to spread the ingredients all over the slices.
    3. Let the lemon marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

    For the Yogurt

    1. Dry the Buffalo yogurt with a rag to remove excess moisture.
    2. Whip the remaining yogurt with a hand blender until creamy.

    For the Sage Extract

    1. Clean the sage leaves and keep them in fresh water to avoid oxidation and preserve the chlorophyll.
    2. Place the cleaned leaves into a juice extractor.
    3. Keep the juice in the fridge using a hermetic seal.

    For the Roasted Peppercorns

    1. Using a small frying pan, roast the peppercorns for a few minutes until they release a sort of grease – this is when the essential oils of the spice have achieved their maximum organoleptic power.
    2. Remove the peppercorns from the heat and allow to cool.
    3. Once cool, grind the peppercorns to obtain a powder and store in a jar.

    For the Lemon Syrup

    1. Clean the lemons and cut them into little cubes with the peel attached.
    2. Bring the lemon juice to a boil in a saucepan, then add the lemon cubes.
    3. Once the lemon cubes disintegrate, add the water and sugar and allow to reduce.
    4. Once sufficiently reduced, remove from heat and pass through a sieve. Leave to cool.
    5. Once the mixture is cool, whip it using a hand blender to obtain a smooth, syrupy texture.

    Plating

    1. Pour the almond water into the base of a dinner plate.
    2. Create a straight line of ground pepper across the plate.
    3. Using a spoon, place a few concentric circles of lemon syrup and sage extract, alternately.
    4. Place three small portions of nut biscuits, buffalo yogurt and slices of candied lemon on the plate.
    5. Serve.

     

    Recipe courtesy of Niko Romito of 3-Michelin-starred Reale at Casadonna in Abruzzo.

    Image © Brambilla Serrani Photographers.