Key Ingredient :: HEMP, Seattle Magazine February 2015
How to use Hemp Seeds in Your Cooking
Chef Colin Patterson of vegan restaurant Sutra Seattle gets creative with hemp
Cannabis sativa is having a moment—from selling out in our first recreational marijuana stores to adding heft as hemp to vegetarian dishes around town. And while everyone is talking about the former, we’re here to celebrate the latter.
Hemp seeds (which have no psychoative effects) are a favorite of Colin Patterson, chef and owner of Sutra Seattle (Wallingford, 1605 N 45th St.; 206.547.1348; sutraseattle.com), the city’s only vegan fine dining restaurant. “Hemp seeds are one of the only plant-based foods that contains the same omega fats you find in fish,” says Colin Patterson, who has always relied on whole foods for flavor, not fake meats and proteins such as tempeh or seitan. “I don’t think [fake proteins] showcase food very well, it’s an easy out, and it’s also not very nutritious.”
Hemp seeds can be pulverized and used as a thickening agent for vegan-friendly “creams.” “If you add saffron to broth-soaked hemp seeds and purée them, you get a similar effect to a seafood saffron sauce,” as the omegas contribute a subtle fishy undertone.
At Sutra Seattle in Wallingford, Patterson uses hemp seeds for sauces, creams, salad dressings and soups. The seeds help enrich lobster mushroom risotto or a house-made Caesar salad, which he also blends with seaweed for a strong, ocean-like flavor. They may also be eaten raw, although Patterson suggests soaking them for at least 15 minutes before eating. “They have a very subtle, toasty flavor,” and soaking them helps to release the seeds’ nutritional flavor. “You’re making them come alive.”
Why you should try hemp seeds: For vegans or people with dairy allergies, hemp seeds give food a velvety texture that is otherwise hard to create. “Without [having to use] coconut milk or nuts, hemp seeds let you explore a fatty feel,” Patterson explains, “and diversity is good in a diet.”
How to use them at home: Soak the seeds in liquid—broth, water or vegetable juice—for 15 minutes or longer. Purée and strain to remove any solid pieces of the seed. For adding creaminess to soups, plan to use about 1 cup of hemp seeds per every 1.5 cups of liquid. For salad dressing, add soaked seeds to a blender with fresh herbs, lemon juice and water, and blend until the desired consistency is reached—no need for oil, as the seeds add the fat.
Where to find hemp seeds: Patterson orders them in bulk and recommends purchasing shelled hemp seeds, which break down more easily. They are sold as hemp hearts or shelled hemp seeds at most natural food stores, including Whole Foods Market (wholefoodsmarket.com; $21.99/pound). They are also available in 7-ounce (organic) and 8-ounce (non-organic) bags at PCC Natural Markets (pccnaturalmarkets.com, $10.50).
Recipe for Smoked Lentil Sunchoke Cake with Black Garlic Hemp Seed Sauce
Sunchoke lentil cake
1 cup dried lentils (Chef Patterson prefers Beluga or French green)
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1 piece of kombu (kelp)
¼ cup coconut cream
4 sunchokes sliced thin
1 Tablespoon olive oil
salt to taste
Bring lentils, stock and kombu to a boil and reduce to a simmer. (Kombu or kelp reduces the gas effects of legumes.) When lentils are at the al dente’ stage, turn it off and add a ¼ tsp of salt, cover and set aside.
Meanwhile toss sunchokes with olive oil and salt. Fill sunchokes about half way into six well-oiled 2-inch metal ring molds (or metal cookie cutters) on a sheet pan and bake at 350 until lightly brown, about 15 minutes.
Next, strain the lentils and prepare them for the smoker. There are a few ways to smoke the lentils, the best way is with a smoker. Place in a fine strainer, like a flour sifter, and smoke for about 1 hour. If you don’t have a smoker you can cook the lentils using a black smoky tea (such as Lapsang Souchong), you first make a strong brew and then cook your lentils in the brewed tea.
Mix smoked lentils and coconut milk and fill up the sunchoke ring molds with the lentil mixture.
Black Garlic Hempseed Sauce
½ onion, diced
½ head of black garlic
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 cup hemp seeds
1 cup stock
salt to taste
Sauté onion until slightly carmalized, add black garlic, stock and hemp seeds with a pinch of salt and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Add lemon juice puree using a blender. (Use a towel to cover blender, and start blending on the lowest speed. Please be careful as hot liquid can blow up.)
1 bottle balsamic (nice and cheap)
1 jar caper berries
1 container of micros (watercress is a great substitute)
Place one bottle over low heat and reduce until it is a syrup consistency. Be careful to watch it closely at the end so as not to burn it. The easiest, safest way I have found if you have a dehydrator is to put the balsamic into a glass dish and dehydrate over night.
Place cakes in the oven to reheat for 5 minutes. Place sauce on plate put cake in the middle and garnish with micros, caperberries and balsamic reduction and enjoy!
Image credit :: Chustine Minoda