Dried-Olive Soil, Goat Cheese Foam and Radishes
The crunchy and sour pickled radishes pair incredibly well with the creamy goat cheese foam and the strong concentrated flavor of the dried olives. The “natural” presentation surprises diners and makes it more interactive and fun to eat.
The dried-olive soil is presented in a terra cotta pot with a pickled radish planted in it. Next to the pot, there are three other radishes with all their leaves and some goat cheese foam. The plate is then decorated with some dried-olive soil and a few drops of the pickling solution.
The dried and ground black olives resemble real soil so well, that diners stare at the dish for a while until they are brave enough to try a little bit of the “soil” on the plate. They then proceed to eat with their hands dipping a radish in the goat cheese foam and dried-olive soil. Crunchy, creamy and pungent. Perfect!
The idea of this dish came up when I was trying to create a dish using dried black olives, which I love. I also knew I wanted to present it in a small terra cotta pot that I saw at Target for $1!
When I was in my search of a small vegetable with nice looking leaves that I could plant in the pot and that would pair well with black olives, I came across a dish that had the answer I was looking for. At Marlowe restaurant in San Francisco, dried olives are served with pickled radishes and goat cheese. So here it is, dried-olive soil with goat cheese foam and pickled radishes.
Ingredients for Goat Cheese Foam (8 to 10 servings)
- 250 g (8.8 oz) goat cheese with herbs
- 125 g (4.4 oz) sour cream
- 125 ml (4.4 oz) heavy cream
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
Ingredients for Pickled Radishes (4 servings)
- 16 small red radishes with nice leaves
- 1 cup rice vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 tsp salt
- 350 g (12 oz) black olives
1- Dry the olives with paper towels and place them in dehydrator tray lined with mesh screen and dehydrate at 65 ˚C (150 ˚F) for 24 hours or until crunchy. If using an oven, set it to the minimum temperature possible and dry the olives for about 18 to 24 hours leaving the oven door open about 5 cm (2 inches). Time may vary depending on your oven. Never leave the oven unattended. Taste for crunchiness during the dehydration process.
2- Grind dried olives coarsely using a food processor.
1- Mix rice vinegar, sugar and salt until all sugar is dissolved.
2- Remove any bad leaves from the radishes and cut the root end so that it is only about ¼ inch long.
3- Arrange all the radishes in a flat container with the vinegar mix. All the radishes should fit tightly so they stay upright. The leaves should not touch the vinegar mix or they will get spoiled.
4- Place the radishes in the fridge for about 8 hours if you like them pungent or for just a couple of hours if you prefer them mild. If you reduce the time, the leaves will also look better and the radishes nice red color won’t fade as much.
Goat Cheese Foam
1- Blend goat cheese, olive oil, sour cream and seasoning in a blender or food processor. When seasoning, keep in mind that the mix will expand 2 or 3 times so you should season 2 or 3 times more than you would normally do.
2- Pass mixture through a fine sieve.
3- Add heavy cream and mix.
4- Pour the mixture into an ISI Whip, screw one ISI cream charger (2 chargers if using 1L ISI Whip) and shake vigorously.
5- Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Assemble and Serve
1- Fill small terra cotta pot with enough dried-olive soil to create a base for the radish. Place a radish in the pot. The top part of the radish should reach the top edge of the pot.
2- Holding the radish upright with one hand, fill the rest of the pot with dried-olive soil but leave the top of the radish slightly uncovered to get a nice color contrast between the red of the radish and the black dried-olive soil. Place the pot on the plate.
3- Place 3 additional radishes next to the pot.
4- Sprinkle some dried-olive soil around the radishes.
5- Scatter a few drops on the plate of the rice vinegar solution that you used to pickle the radishes. If you decide to pickle the radishes for a short time, the solution may not have a strong red color so you may want to start pickling a few radishes the night before using a reduced amount of vinegar solution to obtain a more intense red color. A disposable pipette is very convenient to place these drops without creating a mess.
6- Add goat cheese foam to the plate and enjoy!