Voracious this year is celebrating our local farmers markets with a series of poems extolling what's newly ripe and ready for sale. Each week during market season, we'll run a poem from a local poet who's found inspiration in the region's bounty. And should you find yourself feeling similarly inspired after reading their odes to romaine lettuce, nectarines, pea vines and gooseberries, the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance has provided us with recipes featuring each of the edible muses.
As returning poet Kate Lebo writes in her Wikipedia erasure featuring Cantharellus cibarius, the wild mushroom better known as a chanterelle, the plant's usually found in the vicinity of wild blueberries. That handy finding aid makes a chanterelle search sound relatively simple: Who can't track down a blueberry bush?
But as experienced mushroom hunters know, chanterelles can be wily. They're often obscured by forest litter, and their yellowish flesh doesn't always pop in dim forest light. A first-time forager can scour a promising patch and never find a chanterelle, much as readers can scan a Wikipedia entry and never realize there's a poem hiding within it.
Fortunately, Seattle's home to practiced professionals who are willing to help. On late summer and early fall weekend, Foraged & Found Edibles sells a portion of its chanterelle haul at the West Seattle and U-District farmers markets. Lebo's poetic take on the coveted fungus follows.
Lebo is among seven contributors to our Producing Poetry series who will be sharing her work at a reading next week. We hope you'll join us at the Columbia City Farmers Market on Wednesday, Aug. 29 from 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. for poems from Lebo, Molly Tenenbaum, David D. Horowitz, Michael Dylan Welch, Ann Spiers, Marjorie Rommel and Carl Palmer.
Adapted from a recipe at http://www.marxfoods.com/
4 yellow bell peppers or other sweet local peppers
1 cup cooked Emmer-Farro Berries*
1 pound fresh chanterelle mushrooms, carefully cleaned and cut into large pieces
½ pound aged goat cheese, cut into small chunks
1 cup diced sweet onion
Cut the tops off of the peppers and remove the ribs and seeds. Set aside.
In a bowl, mix the mushrooms, cooked Emmer-Farro, cheese and onions. Stuff peppers with the mushroom mixture.
Place the peppers in a shallow pan and add just enough water to cover the bottom. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until tops are crusty and brown. Serve hot.
*available from Bluebird Grain Farms at U-District Farmers market on the first Saturday of each month. Or, experiment with other hearty whole grains (such as Ebey Prairie's selection the last Saturday and Sunday of each month at U-District and West Seattle Farmers Markets).