A Keller Kitchen Koan

To make something more itself is already to change it without changing it.

Whoa… deep, man.

The idea of making food express more of its self-ness is behind a number of very tasty dishes in Thomas Keller’s oeuvre. A great technique that he uses frequently with vegetables is to cook and serve them in, with, or surrounded by “themselves.”

Three examples:

A cauliflower gratin in which the sauce is augmented with the minced stem of the cauliflower itself.

An asparagus salad served atop a coulis pureed from the tough bottom parts of the asparagus itself.

A side-dish of carrots that are stewed with spices…

in a medium of dry sherry and carrot juice…

which is reduced…

Patience, grasshopper...

and reunited with the carrots on the plate.

Reunited. Like Peaches and Herb. Or something.

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