Sweet Cannabis Tortellini
Hemp is one of the world’s oldest cultivated plants. The fibers of the plant are virtually everlasting, and are used for linen-like clothing. The nut-like seeds and the plant itself are very rich in oil. The plant can grow without any need of pesticides and it’s one of the plants being touted as a potential super food in a changing food system, providing feed for animals, clothing and oil. You can find hemp seed butter, hemp oil, hemp seed milk, hemp energy bars and so on in natural food stores. In India, hemp seed are traded in market places where it’s used to add flavor to dishes.
But I use hemp seed in food. In both the savory and the sweet cuisine. My cuisine is very much based on vegetables. So oily, nutty leaves and seeds are necessary building blocks in getting the depth, the umami and the complexity flavor-wise of the dishes. I mix it with other herbs – the next time you sautée spinach, try adding a handful of hemp leaves.
Oh: And there’s basically two types of hemp. There’s the boring one that my next-door farmer has begun producing on a license to produce feed for animals. And then there’s the one that will get you high as a kite. Hemp is cannabis, but there are varieties that are very low in the THC, which is the stuff that makes your brain all fuzzy. I’ll leave it up to you to use whatever you want in the privacy of your own home. But running a restaurant and getting people stoned without their consent seems pretty irresponsible. I use the boring one. Those who try to champion hemp or cannabis in food use the word “hemp” to distance themselves from the dopey-associations of the “cannabis”-word. But actually it’s still cannabis. It’s just the boring cannabis.
It’s important to think of hemp as a nut or as oil. It adds a distinctively dry or nutty/oily feature to the dishes. And I prefer to use it fresh – not dried like many dealers will otherwise give you. You need to find yourself a grower, not a dealer.
By the way – hemp is high in omega-3 fatty acids, high in globulins which boost the immune system. Hemp seed is low in sodium, contains no cholesterol and it’s a good source of zinc. There’s a reason they call it super food: It’s good for you.
These days I’m very fond of this particular dessert. I always do at least two desserts, a heavy one and a fresh one, usually saving the fresh one as the last course of the menu, to prevent the guest from feeling bombed out after a long dinner with many courses. This dish might insult the Italians, but what the hell, here it goes:
Cannabis Ravioli Dessert
You slice the potatoes thinly – find some absurdly big baking potatoes. I’ve got a supplier who reserves the extremely big ones for me. Poach or sous vide the slices for 15 minutes at 80 degrees.
Blitz 500 grams of dried, skinless almonds. Put them in a blender and pour in approximately 2 deciliters of a thick, hot sugar/water syrup (about 75 % sugar to water).
Then you blitz 200 grams of sugar with 15 grams of fresh hemp.
Mix the almonds and the hemp sugar in the blender with 1 deciliter of egg whites. Leave to set.
The point of adding hemp is to give the coarse marzipan a different perfume. It will give the almonds a pistachio-like flavor. And it adds an herbal feel, that is still nutty.
Put the hemp marzipan in the middle of the potato slice and fold it like a tortellini. And there you go: a potato-cannabis(or hemp)-tortellini.
I serve it with a puree of smoked blackberries.