Green Olive Spheres

Anyone see the episode of Anthony Bourdain’s: No Reservations of elBulli?  It was a tour and look inside the last hours of elBulli and Ferran Adria’s  final service before it doors closed forever.  With the invention of gastronomic techniques like spherification, the use of modern equipment; like iSi whippers, as well as, hydrocolloids, Ferran Adria had produced textures that we’ve never seen before.  These culinary breakthroughs opened up a new generation of cuisine and changed the minds of many chefs.  These Green Olives are one his best….

Green Olive Sphere

500g Spanish green olives, pitted

bottled water

800g green olive serum

5g Calcium Chloride

3g Xantham Gum

7.5g Sodium Alginate

1500g water

  •  put green olives in vita-prep blender and add enough water until a vortex is formed.
  • measure out 800g of green olive serum.
  • add Xantham gum and Calcium Chloride; fully disperse.
  •  pour into medium-sized squeeze bottle.
  • fill desired size semi-spherical molds with serum and freeze.
  • put water and alginate in vita-prep and disperse well.
  • let rest overnight.
  • take out frozen olive serum, keep on a sheet tray in a freezer until needed.
  • bring alginate solution to a simmer and drop “olives” into it.(make sure spheres don’t touch)
  • let “cook” 2-3 minutes.
  • continuously rinse of spheres by dipping each one into three separate bowls filled with water.
  • Marinate in Herb Oil until needed.

The idea of freezing the olive serum in molds and warming the alginate solution is from Alinea‘s Grant Achatz.  You can skip this technique if you want and use Ferran Adria’s “teaspoon method”, but I think it makes for more precise and uniform sphere.

***recipe taken from elBulli 2003-2004.
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