February 2, 2010 | by Todd Knoll
When conceiving ideas for menus, we work backward: We start in the garden and at the store, taking inspiration from the seasonal fruits and vegetables available. The citrus season is at its peak, so beautiful, ripe blood oranges and Meyer lemons were the cornerstone ingredients in our dessert served Thursday, a financier pastry topped with a blood-orange, Meyer-lemon and Yuzu sorbet. One of our tricks for ensuring the sorbet doesn’t slide off the cake once presented is what we call the Marcona kick stand.
The Marcona variety of almond, which is shorter, rounder and sweeter than most almonds, originated in Spain. We also use Marconas for gazpacho, drawing inspiration from the original recipes for this chilled Spanish soup when almonds were used instead of tomatoes. Marconas also make great bar food: they are naturally salty and delicious when sprinkled with hibiscus sea salt.