Apocalypse salad

Food — By Crust on November 4, 2010

At Coi on their spring menu they had a salad called the apocalypse salad. It was roots, ash and weeds. A fresh, young turnip, leek ash and foraged greens. The leek ash was a leek roasted until black then buzzed, mixed with olive oil, and maltodextrin. The reviewer said that it had the texture of ash, but the sweet clean taste of leek and that it really added to the dish. I think the chef who came up with the concept for this salad is a visionary. I’m not surprised that they aced leek ash at Coi because they are rock stars. I tried to make it at Boneta and it tasted pretty bad, I must have done it wrong because I got no clean leek taste. It tasted like I licked an ashtray. I want to try properly made leek ash, with a clean leek taste. I wonder if it also has something to do with adding maltodextrin for sweetness. B told me he mixed dehydrated black garlic with his leek ash and I think that would help the taste. I baked it until it was very dry and then I torched it until it was black and ground it.

At my favorite ramen place they have bamboo charcoal that they put in some of the broth and it turns the broth black and they say that it cleanses toxins from your body by absorbing them. Other sources say if you eat charred shit it causes cancer or something. Is it good or bad to eat leek ash? Is it like bamboo charcoal or like charred food? I know none of this matters because leek ash is sooo last year. But I still wanna ace it, and I still wanna know what it’s deal is.


  1. JD says:

    I’ve witnessed celery root ash being made. My coworker chopped it up small and roasted it at 500degrees until black, like carbonized black. Then blitzed it. Apparently celery root ash is supposed to have an anise flavour, although I couldn’t really taste it.
    I think maybe using the blow torch on your leeks could have changed the flavour. Perhaps it picked up some of the propane flavour from the torch?
    Also the new Noma cookbook is out and I’m sure there’s atleast one ash recipe.

  2. Crust says:

    Thank you JD. I want the Noma cookbook so bad. I went through a downsizing phase and was unsure of if I wanted to collect cookbooks or not. I know now that there are certain cookbooks that I just need. I will always have and reference the classic French laundry/Bouchon. And now I know I need Noma and Michel Bras.

  3. Colleen says:

    I have the Noma cookbook just because Cam went on and on about the place, and I respect his opinion. The pictures are gorgeous. The plates are texturally and visually interesting. It has about 200-250 pages of pictures – and THEN you get to the recipes. Unreal.

    They do a lot with hay and hay ash. I don’t know that I am into this ash trend. It is very off-putting to me. I mean, technically cinnamon is an ash, (all you have to do is see how large quantities poof when you move it, to see that) but blackened ashy food is not what I want to be eating. That said, I do like dark crusty bits. (No pun intended)

    I think that I would have to taste the execution of the dish as done by Noma to make any firm decision. I have had the charcoal ramen though, and didn’t like it. It wasn’t an appealing flavour to me at all. Maybe I am just a luddite.

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