This spiced-up salad sports sour beer in the dressing (RECIPE)

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Chef David Ediger has worked in some of the most prestigious kitchens in the province, backing up culinary rock stars like Jeff Van Geest, Quang Dang and Hamid Salimian. Since crossing over to the world of luxury catering, he’s had the opportunity to cook for actual rock stars, like Nick Cave, Snoop Dogg and David Foster.

Photo by Lara Zukowsky

As part of the team at Toque Catering along with chef/owner Nick Waters, Ediger has helped the haute cuisine custom catering company pick up scores of awards in recent years, including Caterer of the Year by the Top Choice Victoria Awards and B.C. Wedding Awards, as well as Best Catered Event by the Canadian Event Industry Awards.

“Our motto is, if you can dream it up, we can make it happen,” he says.

Why do you love this recipe?

Albacore tuna is a fantastic product from our local waters. It has such a nice creamy, yet firm texture and it is incredibly versatile in terms of the flavours you can add to it. Berbere spice is a blend from Ethiopia with chilies, ginger, paprika and fenugreek that gives the tuna some heat and complexity. The richness of the tuna contrasts well with the tart flavours inherent in the beer and crisp, fresh textures of the fennel and radish.

Tell us why you chose this particular beer.

Photo by Lara Zukowsky

I am a big fan of sour beers and Dageraad’s De Witte is a fine example of the style. Sour beers are often paired with seafood dishes such as moules frites, ceviche, or steamed crab. The sourness can highlight the bright flavours of the dish and it can also cut through the richness.

What are some general tips you have for cooking with beer?

Cooking with beer is a great way to add layers of flavour to a meal. Beer is often used in place of wine in braised dishes. Coq au vin, beef bourguignon and pulled pork can all benefit from the use of beer as the braising liquid. For example, pork shoulder braised in an IPA benefits from both the tangy hops and the malty character present in the beer.

Berbere Spiced Grilled Albacore Tuna Salad with Dageraad De Witte Vinaigrette

Photo by Lara Zukowsky

By chef David Ediger of Toque Catering
Makes four servings

Ingredients

For the vinaigrette
80 mL Dageraad De Witte Beer
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tbsp minced shallot
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tbsp honey
80 mL olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the tuna
400 grams Albacore Tuna Loin (belly removed)
1.5 tbsp berbere spice (available at specialty grocery stores)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
1 tbsp orange zest
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sea salt

For the salad
1 head fresh fennel, shaved thin
5 red radishes, shaved thin
50 mL sweet pickled red onion
40 grams whole toasted almonds
1 head butter lettuce, cored, washed, and torn
1 head radicchio, cored, washed, and chopped
Dill fronds

Directions

Making the vinaigrette
1. Combine beer, mustard, shallot, lemon zest and honey in a blender. Turn on to low speed and slowly add olive oil to emulsify.
2. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

Preparing the tuna
1. In a small bowl, stir together berbere spice, garlic, ginger, orange zest and olive oil.
2. Spread evenly over tuna loin, cover and refrigerate for one hour or overnight.
3. Preheat grill on high heat. Be sure to oil the grill surface just before grilling to keep tuna from sticking.
4. Grill tuna on all sides, 10 seconds per side. Transfer to cutting board to rest.

Making the salad
1. Combine lettuces, shaved fennel and radish in a bowl and dress with the vinaigrette to taste.
2. Slice grilled tuna loin with a sharp knife into 1 cm thick slices.
3. Garnish the salad with the tuna slices, pickled red onion, toasted almonds, dill fronds and serve.