This Just In: Farmer’s Markets in Selling Fresh, Local Produce Shocker!

Yellow oyster mushrooms in vermouth cream sauce
Though we are best known as intrepid gastronomic voyagers, taking our taste buds to the very corners of the globe to bring you, fortunate reader, the tastiest and most authentic delights from obscure and far-flung kingdoms, we’re also (in the same way that Clark Kent was also a brown-suit sporting hack when not moonlighting in tights and a cape) just normal workaday folk who periodically wander down to the farmer’s market on a Saturday morning and pick up some fresh, local ingredients. Yes, I know, it is almost impossible to believe, but I swear it’s true.
Grand Army Plaza greenmarket, Brooklyn
Having just shattered your illusions of us as glamorous, globe-trotting tyros (a reputation we have studiously sought to cultivate in this peculiar, post-modern, internet-based second-life we call WANF), let us further destroy these idols by adding that the various mushrooms we acquired at last weekend’s greenmarket were cooked quickly and simply and without any globalized pretensions. They were local and we treated them like locals.
(l-to-r) Yellow Oyster, Piopini, and Lion's Mane mushrooms
These mushrooms were so fresh, earthy, and well, um, mushroomy, that they hardly needed any help apart from a little aromatic complement from their conventional partners in crime, garlic and parsley, and splashes respectively of fortified wine and cream. Piopini, yellow oyster and lion’s mane mushrooms had wonderful novelty value, demonstrating the mad variety of colors, shapes and textures found in the fungi family. We’d not seen piopini or lion’s mane before, and we’re fairly certain they won’t be readily available in most places, but the great thing about mushrooms is that while they may never look as good on the plate, even the regular white mushroom or slightly more exotic cremini (brown mushroom) are just as tasty as these more outlandish breeds.
Lion's Mane mushrooms with Pedro Ximenez
We cooked the piopini quickly in olive oil, rubbed toasted bread with a clove of garlic, placing the mushrooms on it with a sprinkle of maldon salt and chive flowers. The lion’s mane mushrooms were sauted slowly in butter with garlic and finished with a good glug of Pedro Ximenez (sweet, Oloroso style sherry). And, the yellow oysters were pan fried quickly in olive oil with garlic and parsley, before they were hit up with a splash of dry vermouth and finished with a few tablespoons of heavy cream.

Piopini mushrooms with chive blossoms

Yellow Oyster mushrooms

Bruschette di Funghi – Mushrooms on Toast (serves 4 as an appetizer)

  • 3-4 oz each of any of your favorite mushrooms, we used piopini, lion’s mane and yellow oyster
  • 4-5 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • olive oil and / or butter
  • several splashes of sherry, vermouth, white wine, brandy or whatever booze you have to hand
  • splash of heavy cream
  • salt and black pepper
  • thick slices of your favorite country-style bread, toasted or grilled

Follow rough descriptions above and it’ll all turn out rather nicely.

Wild Mushrooms on Toast

18 thoughts on “This Just In: Farmer’s Markets in Selling Fresh, Local Produce Shocker!

  1. I am so with you on keeping it simple. I love to make a tart with wild mushrooms that is only marginally more cOmplicated than serving them on toast, but your bruschetta is a purer expression of the fruit.

  2. I’m excited that the outdoor farmer’s market season is starting this coming weekend. Yes, I’ve had the indoor season all winter, but pickings for actual fresh produce are slim. It’s about 20% produce and 50% baked goods, and the rest is cheese, meat, eggs, and flowers. Not that those are bad things, mind you. I have been faithfully buying eggs, milk, and chicken from Feather Ridge Farm all year long. I just want some veggies and fruits!

    Of course farmer’s markets out here in suburbia aren’t always as well-stocked as those available to the city folk. I don’t see mushrooms like that in the Community Markets. (I do see some on my brother’s oak tree though and he’s sometimes willing to share). You look like you had a lot of fun with these. Bread, garlic, olive oil, mushrooms, cream – what’s not to love?

  3. I love mushrooms! I may actually have to try making this. Jonny just told me about chive flowers ~ I didn’t know they were edible.

  4. Great pics of the mushrooms! The taste of such fresh mushrooms is surely unmatched and what a great way to showcase them on that bruschette. Great simple, fresh flavors.

  5. Better WANF than WOW, that’s for sure. Look at you two, getting all down-home local and sustainable. I’d write more, but I have something in my eye.

  6. We don’t have–as yet–the gorgeous variety at our green markets, local shiitakes and morels so far. Your bruschettas feature some the best ways to savor them—love a splash of sherry in the simmer, and the chive flower garnish.

  7. These fresh mushrooms are so tempting and the way you prepared them is the best! a splash of cherry, a splash of cream, some garlic, some herbs, et voilà! Perfection.

  8. The yellow oysters are just so lovely! Have you tried morels this season yet!?! Their in season and soooo good! I’m loving how simple yet robust you made all the shrooms! Niiiice. Hope you two are well.

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