Lion’s mane mushroom
This mushroom variety possesses a cloud-like appearance, resembling that of a white cauliflower top. Grown by both Wolfe Family Farm and Golden State Papaya, it has become one of my new favorites. It’s the perfect balance of soft and meaty.
I find lion’s mane mushroom is best when cooked at high heat in a pan, perfectly searing both sides before serving. This week I prepared seared lion’s mane mushrooms with sprouted cauliflower, the Fix of the Week on A5.
This mushroom makes for a perfect pairing with a grilled steak, roasted meats, your morning scrambled eggs and many seafood preparations. A true delicacy, this is a very fun farmers’ market find. The price ranges from $10 to $15 per half-pound.
I have had a good number of customers asking me about this slightly different cauliflower lately.
Rather than being dominated by a compact floret at the top end, sprouted cauliflower is more of a balance of stem and floret. Texturally, sprouted cauliflower is slightly crunchier than its counterpart, delivering a little more nuttiness and sweetness from the extra stem portion.
Also referred to as “flowering” cauliflower, it is the result of overgrown heads or a secondary growth from buds located in the bases of the older leaves. Currently you can find it in white, orange and purple varieties at all weekly Santa Barbara certified farmers’ markets. The price averages $3 per head.
This winter vegetable is related to and closely resembles that of the more common bok choy. It’s an excellent addition to Asian-style stir-fry dishes and has crisp stems and a tender leafy base. I like to add tatsoi to the sauté pan for just a minute or two and then serve it with cooked fish dishes.
Tatsoi is excellent both raw and cooked. You can add this leafy green to spring rolls or a raw salad with shredded carrot, Chinese cabbage and fresh cilantro. The leaves tend to have a flavor similar to that of romaine lettuce, and the stems are like that of cucumber.
It’s grown, harvested and sold by Her Family Farm and Moua Family Farm and is available at the weekly Saturday Santa Barbara and Sunday Camino Real farmers’ markets. The price is $3 per bag.