BY ANNE CRUZ
Photo courtesy of Nathan Santana
Looking to graduate from baked edibles like banana bread and brownies to creative cannabis infusions that can be enjoyed as a side dish? Check out this dish created by chef Nathan Santana of LA’s CULTURED Create and Destroy that incorporates fresh grilled veggies and savory, spicy salsa as inspired by seasonal California produce and the flavors of Chef Santana’s family.
Chef Santana has been cooking professionally for nine years, and in 2018, he partnered with Botafarm Genetics to create CULTURED, a series of infused pop up dinners that aim to educate and connect members of the cannabis community. This year, Santana made his TV debut on Netflix’s Cooked with Cannabis, a competitive cooking show where contestants prepare three courses of infused meals for the chance at a $10,000 prize.
Since winning his episode of Cooked, Chef Santana has continued working on his pop up series and baking some amazing loaves of sourdough. He says that his menus are inspired by beautiful seasonal ingredients and his experience working in professional kitchens.
“Cannabis is just as important of an ingredient as anything else you use,” Santana says. “When I create a menu for a cannabis dinner I like to explore the farmers markets to see what’s new and in season. I like to go there and taste things to get my mind moving.”
For this recipe, bright grilled greens are accompanied by a sweet and spicy infused salsa. You can make the salsa using a ready-made pre-dosed infused oil, or you can make your own with your preferred strain. The secret to super vibrant greens? They’re quickly blanched before being dunked into ice-water, which prevents the broccoli from overcooking and preserves their bright color.
California-Inspired Broccoli with Peace Habanero Salsa
Serves 4 as a side dish
Ingredients for roasted broccoli:
2 bunches of baby broccoli
2 ounces of peach salsa (recipe below)
1 ounce queso fresco
½ of a small peach, diced
1 small handful of cilantro, chopped
1 shallot, diced
½ of a small tomato, diced
Sesame seeds for garnish
Ingredients for grilled peach and habanero salsa:
5 peaches, finely chopped
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 habanero, finely chopped
2 ounces of distilled white vinegar
Juice of two limes
Salt to taste
6 tablespoons of your preferred infused oil, like Potli
To make the peach and habanero salsa:
Add all of the items into a blender and combine until smooth or if you prefer, leave a little texture.
Set aside and begin the rest of the recipe.
To make the roasted broccoli:
Set a pot on the stove and bring water to a boil. While you wait, create an ice bath in a large bowl. Set aside the ice bath.
When the water comes to a rolling boil, add in the baby broccoli. Cook for about 2 minutes.
Once blanched, immediately dunk the broccoli into the ice bath to retain its color. Let it cool for five minutes.
Heat up your grill or oven broiler. Once the broccoli is cool, add it to the greased grill or under the heated broiler to get it nice and charred. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes.
While the broccoli finishes cooking, mix the peach salsa and diced vegetables in a bowl.
After the broccoli gets a nice char, add it to your bowl. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.
Finish with queso fresco and sesame seeds.