Archive for the ‘Herbs’ Category

Mushrooms For a Salad


My, mushrooms are pretty.

It so happens I was chatting with my buddy Travis yesterday about an unexpected advantage of the urban greens growing project - that it pushes us both to get our act together and do stuff far more diligently than we otherwise would. Turns out that applies again today. Ryan at BTV Edmonton asked me to be on morning TV to chat about blogging and food stuff, which led to me actually having to get my act together to see if I could get something cool to blog and talk about while on the show. So I took my oldest daughter out to a city ravine park, and hooked ourselves up with a cool array of wild mushrooms: red cap [leccinum boreale], comb’s tooth [hericium coralloides], and agaricus.

The mushroom situation this year is vastly different than last. Last year was wet and cool and an epic year for fungi, this year not so much. I wouldn’t say this year’s dry, but the intense heat seems to be playing a factor, at least for the agaricus. They seem to be maturing quickly post emergence – which results in vastly smaller size and lower quality overall. The Comb’s Tooth and Red Caps were in gorgeous shape and didn’t seem to exhibit the same issue at all.

So the salad. Sauteed the mushrooms with some nodding onion and wild thyme, in butter, in the cob oven. Man they smell good. Those will go atop a mix of Lactuca greens, which in turn will be dressed with a saskatoon wine vinaigrette and aged Cheesiry pecorino. Too hot to cook, mushroom salad it is.

Celebrating Spring Thyme


Irvings Farm Fresh Berk Loin Chop, Garden Thyme, Garlic + Lola Canola Honey mustard

GEH Potatoes, Onions, Mo-Na Mushroms, Garden Thyme

In Season: Spring Thyme


I know the title reads like a cheesy April fool’s post, but seriously, if you’re a botanist, can you please explain this to me? I’ve noticed for years that english thyme, when the snow recedes, is in about as good a shape as it was in November or December when it was covered. This, in and of itself is remarkable for a plant, but the part I don’t get is that this wonderful condition is temporary – these same lovely thyme leaves will desiccate and ‘die back’ every year. Which leaves a bizarre opportunity in our spring local food void: english thyme being ‘in season’ for a brief  couple weeks post-snow.

This year, that time is now in my south-facing garden bed against the house. Most years it’s mid-late March. So we go thyme-less for 4 of the winter months, get it again for a couple weeks, then it’s toast again for nearly 2 months until early June’s new growth. I just don’t get it.

Why english thyme? Not even indigenous wild thyme that I grow fares the same. Why is this state temporary? Perhaps it gets along with fall’s pork and just doesn’t want to miss out.  I do want to know. In the meantime, I’m going to be celebrating fresh thyme from the garden as the first seasonal ingredient of the year.