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Saturday, Jul 24, 2021
Mugglehead Magazine
Cannabis & psychedelics industry news based in Vancouver, B.C.
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Food

‘Pop’ goes the flavour: adding acidity to your favourite savoury infused dish

Chef Jordan Wagman explains the importance of brightening flavour profiles with acid, followed by his recipe for a vegan-friendly infused scallion pesto sauce

‘Pop’ goes the flavour - adding acidity to your favourite savoury infused dish - infused scallion pesto sauce
Roasted potatoes with infused scallion pesto sauce. Photo by chef Jordan Wagman

Edibles are widely associated with cookies, brownies and gummies, but that doesn’t hold true in my world. Most of the infused food I create is savoury, not sweet. My elevated dining experiences consist of 15 courses, and only three or four will be dessert. I employ a few tricks of the culinary trade, combined with cannabis know-how, to maximize flavour while preserving the integrity of the cannabis.

Thirty years ago — crazy that it’s been thirty years — while attending culinary school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, I recall watching one of America’s greats, chef Charlie Trotter, on TV every weekend.

He was a top chef of his time and often used a phrase that’s stuck with me throughout the years: “When you serve food to your guests, make sure the flavour pops.” To chef Trotter, that meant the addition of acidity, fresh herbs or salt, creating that pop of flavour the moment food hits your palate. This is my goal, every time I create a dish.

Most home cooks overlook acidity as a finishing touch, but it’s the one component most often missing. Like using photo-editing applications to brighten images, acidity brings brightness to a dish and that pop of flavour to your palate. This is one of my key approaches to infusing foods for my elevated experiences.

I can create fresh pesto-like sauces, combining cannabis, acidity, and fresh herbs to build the most incredible, aromatic flavour profiles while highlighting the main ingredient of the dish. The simplest of foods are transformed. Grilled asparagus, steamed carrots or roasted cauliflower are all lifted to new heights.

When asparagus comes off the barbeque or cauliflower out of the oven, I immediately toss them in my Infused Scallion Pesto Sauce and something magical happens. Residual heat begins to warm the pesto, releasing the oils from the herbs and the terpenes from the cannabis. That freshness combined with vinegar, for acidity, creates a flavour bomb.

This principle can be applied to virtually anything you cook — a filet mignon or a taco is quickly transformed into something special.

Read more: Would edibles-only cannabis cafes work in Canada?

Read more: Cannabis-infused dining flourishes despite being illegal

‘Pop’ goes the flavour - adding acidity to your favourite savoury infused dish - vinegar

A variety of flavoured vinegars on sale at the renaissance fair of Éguilles in Bouches-du-Rhône, France, in 2011. Photo by Georges Seguin via Wikimedia Commons

Often home cooks are concerned with marinades and infusing flavour into foods before cooking. I employ a different approach. I give my food that pop of flavour by injecting freshness and acidity into the dish just before serving, highlighting fresh, bright flavour profiles to provide an incredible experience for my guests.

See you at my dinner table.

Infused scallion pesto sauce

Yield

Makes around 2 cups, or 500 mL.

What you’ll need

A food processor, immersion blender or mortar and pestle.

Ingredients

4 green onions
1 bunch chives
2 cloves garlic
2 cups fresh basil, loosely packed
½ cup (125 mL) coconut or apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp (15mL) Dijon mustard
1 tsp (5 mL) cannabis oil (around 20mg/mL) – any carrier oil can work, but I prefer olive oil
¼ tsp (1 mL) sea salt
¼ tsp (1 mL) freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (250 mL) extra virgin olive oil

Preparation

  1. In a food processor combine green onions, chives, basil, vinegar, mustard, cannabis, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend ingredients while slowly adding the oil until all of the oil is incorporated.
  2. Use immediately or transfer to an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to one week.

 

Jordan Wagman is a James Beard Award-nominated chef, bestselling cookbook author and cannabis culinary expert. Although he was taught classical French technique, his battle with psoriasis led him to eventually cut gluten, dairy and refined sugar from his cuisine. He also cites THC and CBD as pillars to his health.

 

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