Almonds Across the Menu
From fast-casual to upscale dining, almonds are a favorite ingredient for chefs and food professionals because of their versatility across all menu day parts.
For a look at 2017 dining trends and how they resonate with consumer demographics, check out this “Generational Dining Trends” presentation by Andy Ford of Brado Creative.
Who’s Doing What?
• Higgins, Portland, OR: A colorful blend of texture and color, a chickpea-based crepe holds a vegetarian curry topped with toasted almonds, balanced by a unique horseradish and tofu sauce.
• L’Escale, Greenwich CT: Small balls of mozzarella coated in crushed almond nougatine and spices are paired perfectly with browned apples in a rich appetizer.
• The Grocery, Charleston, SC: Filled with a pesto of blanched almonds and blended cheese, creamy burrata is complemented both by the color and flavor of charred green broccoli, and topped with bright olive vinaigrette.
- The Macintosh, Charleston, SC: Seared sea scallops surround a centerpiece of golden beets and fried mizuna, enrobed in crunchy salvitxada sauce. The romesco-like salvitxada adds a fresh bite of garlic and chili, balanced by the buttery base of pureed almonds.
• Caviar & Bananas, Charleston, SC: A simple blend of Middle Eastern flavors and textures, cous cous bursts with sharp notes of onion and mint and is balanced with the creamy flavor of toasted almonds and dried figs.
• Cooks County, Los Angeles, CA: Recipient of Los Angeles’ “Best New Restaurant” award, Chef and owner Daniel Mattern has a flair for pairing unexpected ingredients with exciting results, like his unique pickled peach and almond salsa atop a wood-grilled pork shoulder.
• Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA: Charles Phan’s stir-fry showcases whole roasted and toasted almonds with chicken and various herbs and spices, with a base of steamed rice and a garnish of cilantro.
• Slanted Door, San Francisco, CA: The versatility of almonds in their many forms by incorporating both almond milk and toasted almonds in a steamed almond cake, garnished with frozen plum granite and a toasted almond cream that is seasoned with salt and sugar.
• Brooklyn Farmacy, Brooklyn, NY: Owners Peter Freeman and Gia Giasullo create home-made almond butter to use as a filling in their fresh baked, “Happily Ever After” butter cookie sandwiches.
• Alluim at the Four Seasons, Chicago, IL: Executive Chef Kevin Hickey pairs almonds with apricots for the perfect sweet and nutty flavor balance in his almond-apricot ice cream.
• The Spence, Atlanta, GA: For her “Almonds in the Sun” dessert, Pastry Chef Andrea Litvin first freezes, then bakes chopped almonds with chocolate to form a chocolate almond crisp, which is placed with honey almond brittle atop a molten chocolate cake.
• FigOly, Los Angeles, CA: Almond gremolata and romesco add distinct texture and richness to roasted Mediterranean Sea bass with kale and roasted cauliflower.
• La Vara, Brooklyn, NY: Chef Alex Raij grinds almonds with pine nuts to create a white gazpacho topped with sweet Maine shrimp and squid “ribbons.”
• Bar Ferdinand, Philadelphia, PA: Executive Chef David Ansill uses almonds as a dressing, in his scallop dish that is paired with a truffle almond vinaigrette and pea puree.