I was hoping to get some shiitake mushrooms at this past weekend’s farmer’s market. I saw a post of creamy polenta with russian kale and shiitake on Tartelette on Friday, and figured since she is writing from Charleston (just one state away), maybe I could find some still at our market, but there weren’t any.
He blew my and everyone else’s minds talking about the long lists of ingredients and preparations that go into his salads. From fermenting, to roasting young vegetables in the ashes made from older bulk vegetables, to how to make powders from oils and using the roots of plants. He said there are sometimes 40 plus ingredients in his salads (he likes each bite to be a different experience) and the acronym he thinks of when preparing any dish is “FASSAB”; Fat, Acid, Sweet, Sour Aromatic, and Bitter. Seems pretty logical and could work for the home cook, too. I think I may hang onto that. Another thing that grabbed me was that he took a poached egg, put it in a blender and dressed some of the salad with it. Mmm… Creamy egg.
But back to shiitakes. I have been ogling some mushroom logs at the gardening store for months, wondering about them. After being let down at the farmer’s market, today was the day I finally caved in. I figured since Mother’s Day is fast approaching I could take this opportunity to get myself the gift that no one in my family would dare give me – a log…with drill holes… filled with shiitake fungi spores. I had to giggle when I was walking to my car with the log in my arms, with instructions on how to care for my log… very Twin Peaks Log Lady.
It is probably a bit late, seasonally speaking, but I’m doing a little research and considering shocking it in cold water for a day or two to make the spores think that winter has just come and gone. If you happen to have any experience with growing Westwind Wide Range Shiitake in the South, by all means, share your expertise with me.
So anyway, I still have to eat dinner tonight and I craved that mushroom polenta. I picked up some shiitake from Whole Foods, and took my neighbor’s generous offer to use some of their home-grown Italian kale from their sunny plot.
So I got to make Tartelette’s Creamy Polenta with shiitake and Kale after all…
Have you also been noticing the food trend lately of putting an egg on top of something and calling it supper? I kind of like it.
One last thing, just want to share my giddiness about next week… I’ll be having a guest poster ‘over’ to my blog to cook me dinner with one of my all-time favorite vegetables, asparagus! Have a look at Chez Chloe’s luscious dishes and you might understand why I’m excited!