“In Denmark in July, the apples are beginning to form fruit and the rhubarb season is coming to an end. Apples, rhubarb, and ants represent a broad spectrum of sourness that can be incorporated into a recipe. I created this dish with my friend Ruben Hernandez to explore these seasonal flavours.” – Roberto Flore.
Recipe excerpted with permission from On Eating Insects: Essays, Stories, and Recipes by Josh Evans, Roberto Flore, Michael Bom Frøst, and Nordic Food Lab published by Phaidon. Click here to purchase your own copy.
- 150 grams water
- 2 grams ascorbic acid
- 500 grams apple juice
- Anty Gin* (or regular gin)
- 3 fresh juniper berries
- 380 grams apples
- 800 gram rhubarb
- 300 gram filtered water
- 1 gram liquorice powder
- 7 grams liquorice syrup
- 3 grams angelica seeds
- seasonal herbs and flowers, such as wood sorrel, lemon verbena and nasturtium flowers
- 15 red wood ants (Formica rufa)
* “We designed and distilled our own Anty Gin in collaboration with The Cambridge Distillery, which in addition to the requisite juniper and a few supporting botanicals of wood avens (Geum urbanum), alexander seed (Smyrnium olusatrum) and stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), features red wood ants (Formica rufa) as the aromatic star. The result is a complex, well-balanced gin; the ants bring key citrus notes and, for me, a distinct tingling on the tongue, similar to the feeling a few minutes after eating a nasturtium seed.” – Roberto Flore
- For the Apples: Pour the water, ascorbic acid, apple juice and Anty Gin into a stainless steel bowl that can be put into a vacuum machine. Add the juniper berries. Using an apple corer, cut the apples into 12 cylinders of different lengths, then use a knife to cut the ends to make them flat. Put the apple cylinders into the stainless steel bowl and compress in a vacuum machine in order to infuse the apples in the liquid. Keep the apples in the liquid and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
- For the Rhubarb Juice: Wash and remove the leaves from the rhubarb stalks, then juice the stalks in a juicer. Put the juice into a stainless steel pot and bring to the boil, removing any foam with a small mesh sieve (strainer). Turn off the heat and strain the liquid through a Superbag into another stainless steel bowl. Add the liquorice powder, liquorice syrup and angelica seeds and mix together. Place in a plastic container with a lid and keep in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- To finish: Using a small pasta cutter, cut the wood sorrel and lemon verbena leaves and the nasturtium flowers into small round confetti. Pour the rhubarb juice into each bowl. Place 3 apple cylinders of various heights into the middle of each bowl and top with different colours of the seasonal confetti and 1–2 ants.