Saturday, November 11, 2006


Sometimes it's the most simple dishes that are the most heartwarming. Lately I've found myself craving earthy dishes, vegetables, and the peppery flavours of home. Sushi is great, truly, but there's something about a fresh mushroom, soil still clinging to its spongy skin, that inspires a homecooked meal.

The other day whilst shopping, I saw the bin of mushrooms in the produce section, quietly ignored while shoppers bustled about selecting onions and potatoes and cabbages and lettuce and avocados and the like. So inconspicuous and silent, they seemed to doze as I walked over, suddenly wanting to pop one in my mouth right then, raw. I felt a hunger for the last bit of sleepy summer earth as I filled my bag with criminies.

Slowly piecing together a recipe in my mind I went on a mini scavenger hunt, gathering things I thought would work well together. I selected a bag of grated Monterey, but immediately placed it back and grabbed a container of crumbled feta cheese instead. I had breadcrumbs at home, fresh Italian parsley at home. My idea was beginning to solidify.

Once home, I whisked an egg and a little extra cream I had together, then added the chopped parsley that grows rampant in my garden. A little salt, pepper, cayenne, and then the breadcrumbs. Once I had a thick paste, I added the feta crumbles.

These I piled into the mushroom caps, topping with a little extra cheese, then stuck them in the oven until the tops turned golden. I gave the same treatment to a couple extra tomatoes I had as well, but the mushrooms were the spotlight on this evening. Despite a leetle overcooking by yours truly, I enjoyed the subtle contrast of the feta and fresh bright parsley with the earth-kissed mushrooms. I've found that I love weaving together meals as I walk through the market, relying on my personal whim and craving. In this case at any rate, it did not steer me wrong!

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