Today while I was at the Silver Lake farmers’ market, I stopped by Kane’s Family Farm booth to see their beautiful mushrooms. It seemed Marissa gave her husband the day off and she set up a beautiful display. She quickly brought to my attention that she had something very special today. She showed me a small tray of mushrooms that looked less than special. They seemed to be long spindly shiitakes. But they weren’t. Marissa revealed to me the pioppinno mushroom, also called “block poplar”. But what made these fungi so special?
“Unlike other mushrooms, when you cook these, they get crispy,” Marissa said excitedly with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye. That twinkle sold me. So did the intrigue of how these shrooms would cook up. She advised me to cook them at high heat in a skillet with a little olive oil. I did so and threw a little garlic in at the end.
The mushrooms cooked magically to perfection. They got super crispy and were delicious. I fried up a couple pieces of Canadian bacon, mounded it with some smashed red potatoes and topped it with the crispy pioppinno mushrooms. It was a delicious treat.
I’m gonna keep this one in my pocket for the future. They would be the perfect topping to a nice risotto or salad.