There’s a fresh food trend afoot and you can experience it right in your own kitchen. What’s more, you likely already have the tool. Extraction cooking uses the humble juicer to create restaurant-quality, nutrient-packed fruit- and veggie-based dishes.

For kitchen novices curious to learn but unsure where to start, or experienced domestic hands ready to acquire that extra culinary touch, Italian chef Stefania Corrado has published the book The Revolution of Taste (Mondadori). Corrado reveals the art of extraction cooking with a host of healthy and delicious recipes.

“The liquid extract is nothing but a molecule of flavour with which to play to create better, healthier dishes,” explains Corrado. “We often sacrifice part of the purity, the fragrance, the properties and the taste of the ingredients when we’re in a hurry, and the technique is lost. Instead, with the extractor, they are saved.”

Centrifugal vs cold-pressed

The biggest differences between extractor and centrifuge is the extraction system and the speed. The centrifuge is equipped with a thin circular blade that turns at a high speed, trimming fruit and vegetables to filter the juice and holding back the waste. The extractor instead of the blade has a sort of vine that squeezes the ingredient, obtaining its juice. There are two types of extractors: vertical and horizontal (the latter are the most used in professional kitchens).

The properties of extraction

“Cooking with extracts reduces, and in some cases eliminates, fats, transforming the liquid obtained from fruits and vegetables into the main ingredient to create bases, sauces and broths (these also without water). In cooking, it makes juice a concentrate, allowing a more decisive and powerful flavour to be obtained,” continues Corrado. The best part? “The extract can be used in its purity in order to enhance the flavour of the dish.”

What can be extracted

In addition to fruit and vegetables, you can extract juices from leaves, aromatic herbs and spices – such as sage, basil, rosemary, pepper and nutmeg – which, if cooked directly, would change in taste and lose their intensity. The same applies to the colours of the food, which, thanks to the extractor, remain bright during processing without compromising the nutritional qualities of the dish.

Which extractor to buy

For those who want to try extracting, we recommend five brands of extractor that range between household and professional standards: Hurom and Kuvings, for those who approach extracting for the first time, and Ceado, Green Star and Angel, for kitchen experts who want an extractor from “great chefs”.

The chef’s menu

If an extractor is already among your home appliances, here is a complete menu created, from appetizer to dessert, by chef Corrado.

Pancotto, rocket and potatoes

Chef’s note: The pancotto is a typical preparation of Southern Italy. In Puglia and in the Bari area in particular, we do it with rocket and potatoes. In place of the vegetable broth, I will use the pure rocket extract, with its bitter and decisive notes.
For the potato cream
500g of mountain potatoes
4 shallots
250ml of vegetable stock
50ml of extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

500g of rocket
4 slices of stale Altamura bread
2 cloves of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
For the potato cream, clean the shallots and potatoes and slice them thinly. In a saucepan, slowly fry the shallots with olive oil and a little salt. Add the potatoes and brown them for a few minutes. Add the vegetable stock and cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, blend until the mixture is smooth, and keep warm. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Extract 250g of rocket and keep the extract aside. Sauté the remaining 250g of rocket with garlic, oil and chili in a pan for a few seconds. Cut the stale bread, eliminating the outer crust and giving it a round shape. Soak the bread with the rocket extract and keep it aside. To assemble the dish, arrange the potato cream at the base of the dish; lay the sautéed rocket and the bread in the center. Finish with a generous round of extra virgin olive oil.

Rice in Cagnone

Chef’s note: The interesting thing about extracting an aromatic herb is that its flavour remains the same as its perfume, just like when the plant is on the ground. By cooking, as a rule, the flavour of aromatic herbs changes a lot (think of rosemary becoming bitter). With the extraction technique, we can keep all the perfumes, enhancing the taste. A few drops are enough – treat it like an essence.
200g of Carnaroli rice or Vialone Nano
400ml of water
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
For the whipping
50g of butter
50g of grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 tablespoon of garlic paste
The rind of a lemon
For the assembly of the dish
12ml of sage extract (about 25g)
Dehydrated raspberry powder to taste
Toast the rice directly in a pressure cooker with a little olive oil and salt. Add 400ml of water and close the pressure cooker. Cook for 6 minutes starting from the whistle. Depressurise. Open the pot and stir in butter, Parmigiano Reggiano, garlic paste and lemon zest. For the assembly of the plate, finish with sage extract and raspberry powder.

Tongue, onion in sour sauce, green sauce and apricot with marsala

Chef’s note: The tongue is cooked in its liquid and in the onion extract, without adding any fat. The flavours are kept inside, thanks to the pressure cooking.
500g of beef tongue or veal
Liquids for cooking
The juice extracted from 750g of red onions (about 8 onions)
500ml of red wine
500ml of water
Salt to taste
To thicken the sauce
40g of tapioca pearls
For the onion in agro
1 red onion
175ml of raspberry vinegar or white wine
75ml of water
50g of sugar or honey
5g of salt
Aromatic herbs to taste (marjoram, mint)
For the green sauce
50g of parsley
2 desalted anchovies
1 hard-boiled egg
Bread crust from a sandwich
1 clove of garlic
Oil to taste
Vinegar to taste
Salt to taste
For the cream of apricot
50g of dried apricots
50g of water
200ml of marsala
Put the tongue in a pressure cooker with the cooking liquids. When the internal pressure of the pan is reached, cook for 40 minutes for the veal; an hour for the beef tongue. Clean the tongue and keep it aside. Filter the cooking liquid and reduce over the heat until it obtains a syrupy consistency. If necessary, thicken by boiling with tapioca pearls and then filter. For the onion in agro, bring the raspberry vinegar to a boil with 75ml of water and the sugar and salt. Clean the onion to cut it into wedges and add to the hot liquids. Turn off the heat, add the aromatic herbs and leave to infuse for 30 minutes covered with food film. For the green sauce, clean the parsley and soak the bread in a little vinegar. Blend all the ingredients and keep them aside. For the cream of apricot, leave the apricots over the heat with 50ml of water and the marsala until they soften; remove from heat, cool and then blend. To assemble the dish, cut the tongue into pieces in the shape you prefer and brown in a non-stick pan. Fry the tongue with the reduced and thickened sauce. Serve the tongue with the green sauce, the onion in sour sauce, and the apricot cream with marsala.

Tartlet, chocolate, pear and rosemary

Chef’s note: Cooking rosemary changes its flavour and makes it decidedly bitter. By extracting it cold, we can maintain its natural taste and aroma.
For the tart
500g of flour
250g of soft butter
140g of powdered sugar
3 egg yolks
1 egg
For the chocolate confectioner’s cream
500ml of milk
170g of 70% dark chocolate
125g of sugar
80g of egg yolk
35g of cornstarch
35ml of extra virgin olive oil
For the rosemary extract
100g of rosemary
Water as needed
For the pear
6 pears
600ml of water
300g of sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 clove
1 star anise
For the tart, slowly knead icing sugar, butter, egg yolks, egg and half of the flour. Add the rest of the flour. Let it rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Spread the cold dough, and let cool in the fridge before baking. Bake at 170 degrees C until it is coloured. For the chocolate custard cream, mix the egg yolks with a whisk, then add the sugar and starch by passing them through a sieve. Put a saucepan with milk on the stove. When it comes to a boil, turn it off and pour the milk onto the yolks. Return to the heat and cook the cream, turning with a whisk. When the bubbles are formed, cook for another minute and switch off. Pour the chocolate previously melted in a bain-marie in a third of the white custard cream, turning quickly with a whisk. Transfer both creams to a bowl and add the oil, turning vigorously with the whisk. Insert in a sac and let it rest. For the rosemary extract, soak the rosemary in water for one night. Switch to the extractor and keep aside. For the pear, peel the pears. Bring the ingredients for the syrup to a boil, dip the pears and cook for 40 minutes. Keep aside and slice thinly when assembling the tart. To assemble the dish, lay the pear slices on the pastry dough. Cover with the chocolate custard and serve with a few drops of rosemary extract.