Jenna

About Jenna Antonino DiMare

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So far Jenna Antonino DiMare has created 9 entries.

Black Trumpet Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Toasted Sage

A slice of heaven!

At this point, anyone who’s not a mushroom forager in Ithaca must by dying for some sun. It’s been raining almost around the clock – a steady pitter-patter on the tin roof of our home, soaking the earth and flooding the streets. In fact, when I woke up this morning all roads in Tompkins County were closed due to flooding, by order of the sheriff! Despite the pouring rain, Ari still ventured out yesterday on an early evening two-hour hour mushroom foray. He returned home soaked to the bone, but with a huge smile and a grocery bag filled with black trumpets to add to the four-pounds of black trumpets foraged earlier this week. Mushroom foraging is at its peak – it really doesn’t get any better than this! 

Our beautiful bounty of black trumpets just keeps on giving, making appearances in almost every meal. Needless to say, black trumpets are one of my favorite wild mushrooms. Their delicate appearance and delectable woodsy flavor makes me eagerly exclaim “I love black trumpets!” just about every time I eat them, as if I hadn’t had them every day for the past two weeks. 

This past week, I made a pizza I will never forget. Black trumpets atop a caramelized onion base with my first batch of homemade ricotta cheese, topped with toasted sage leaves – wow! Every bite was blissful. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water!

A small sampling of black trumpets from our recent harvests!

Serves 2

 Preparing the pizza dough:

–       Make or buy your favorite pizza dough!

–       To make two individual pies, divide the dough in two and form each piece into a smooth ball. Let rest. Then flatten (and toss if you have skills!) each ball into round disks.

Preparing the pizza toppings:

1.) CARAMELIZED ONIONS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • ½ Tablespoon brown sugar or maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme or rosemary, minced
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • Freshly cracked pepper and salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat the olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onions, cracked pepper, salt and brown sugar. Cook for about 20, stirring often. Add ¼ cup white wine. Once the liquid has evaporated, add the fresh rosemary or thyme. Cook until the onions reach a browned, creamy texture.

2.) BLACK TRUMPETS

INGREDIENTS:

  • About 3 oz black trumpets
  • Cracked pepper and salt to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon butter

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a small cast iron pan, melt the butter at a medium heat. Add the black trumpets, salt and pepper and sauté until any liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove the black trumpets and set aside.

 3.) TOASTED SAGE LEAVES (Courtesy my mother! These have always been one of my favorite creations of hers. If you’ve never eaten toasted sage leaves, you’re in for a treat!)

INGREDIENTS:

    • 16 sage leaves
    • 1 Tablepoon olive oil
    • Salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a small cast iron pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat.
  • Once the olive oil is hot, add the sage leaves. Lie flat and separate each one about a ½ inch apart. Sprinkle with salt. Cook sage leaves for about two to three minutes on each side. Then, set aside leaves separately on a plate to dry and crisp!

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, this is the time to use it. Place it in the oven on the lowest rack.

Brush pizza dough with olive oil. Top with caramelized onions, approx. 8 oz of ricotta cheese (homemade if you got it!) and freshly grated Parmesan to taste. Lay the black trumpets on top. Note: that the toasted sage leaves will be added as a garnish when the pizza is ready to serve and out of the oven!

When your pizza is ready for the oven, slide the pie onto the stone and bake until the crust is slightly browned and the toppings begin to bubble, about 10 minutes. Place toasted sage leaves on the cooked pie. Serve and enjoy. Mangia!

Black trumpet pizza!

Ramps and Revelation – Preserving The Harvest With Ramp Pesto

Ramp pesto served over spaghetti with a French Breakfast radish garnish.

Maybe it is just because I have been in ramp heaven throughout the past three weeks, finding vast caches of wild leeks (Allium tricoccum) on our forays and loving ever minute of it. Or perhaps it is because I grew up in a household where every meal began with a head of garlic, and the unmistakably garlicky scent and flavor of the ramp satisfies my life-long love affair with this pungent allium. The bottom line is that I just can’t get enough of ramps, and these days they seem to be showing up on the table for breakfast, lunch and dinner. From lightly sautéing ramps in a tad of olive oil, salt and pepper, to featuring them in omelets, soufflés, quiches, sandwiches, risottos, burritos, soups, and pasta dishes, it is beginning to seem that there isn’t anything that doesn’t go well with ramps.

Ramps from a recent harvest.

Throughout the past two weeks, Ari and I have been obsessively eating and discussing ramps, excitedly proclaiming all of the wonderful things we could make with them. The list seems to be growing. While my adoration of ramps may border on excessive, I am not the only one. When combing through the NY Times a few weeks ago, I noticed that two restaurants would be featuring four and seven-course fixed price ramp feasts (in one case, including ramp martinis and wine).

Then, I was delighted to read an article about ramps in this season’s issue of Edible Fingerlakes and view a photograph of a wild leek aficionado proudly displaying his ramp tattoo. While I don’t feel called to express my love for these tender greens through body art, I can relate to his motive.

Alas, ramp season will not last forever and these savory plants, now seemingly everywhere in Ithaca’s forests, will soon wither as the trees leaf out. How can I prolong my enjoyment of this spring ephemeral? Making and freezing ramp pesto has been one of my favorite ways to preserve this wild edible so that it can be enjoyed in future months. Not surprisingly, this is my favorite alternative to basil pesto!

Makes about 1½ cups pesto, or a generous 8oz.

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. or 2 cups ramp leaves, packed
  • ½ cup lightly toasted pine nuts (pecans or walnuts are a tasty substitute)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Prepare the ramps by removing and setting aside the bulbs if they are still attached (see our recent article, The Ramp Ritual, for a discussion of harvesting technique). Blanch 50-100% of ramps for 30 seconds, depending on desired potency of garlic flavor, and then immediately place under cold water. Then, remove the ramps from the water and thoroughly drain. In the past I have used 100% raw ramps, but not without suffering from dragon breath and heartburn!

Pulse all ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor to form a coarse paste. Then, add the olive oil and pulse briefly. Serve with pasta, on pizza, in a sandwich, or as a garnish on meat or seafood. Mangia!

Our friend, Victoria, harvests ramps on a recent foray (left). Ramp pesto ready for the freezer (right).

Spring Mushroom Cultivation & Foraging Workshop

Spring 2010 Shiitake Cultivation Workshop at Shining Sun Earth Renewal Center

Like shiitakes, morels, and lion’s mane mushrooms? If you’re in the Northeast, consider coming to Ari’s upcoming Mushroom Cultivation & Foraging Workshop! The workshop will be held at Shining Sun Earth Renewal Center in Guilford, Vermont from Friday, May 6 through Sunday, May 8, 2011. You can read more about the workshop on our Workshops & Events page, and you can view the workshop schedule here.

Maximum of 18 participants. For inquiries and registration please contact Ari via email at anr44 [at] cornell [dot] edu or via telephone at (413) 687-2184!

UPDATE The workshop is now full! Stay tuned for future workshops, or contact Ari (see above) to be added to our mailing list.

By |April 7th, 2011|Events + Workshops, Mushroom Cultivation|Comments Off on Spring Mushroom Cultivation & Foraging Workshop|

King Stropharia Risotto with White Wine, Parsley & Roasted Ancho Chiles

Sometimes the best meals emerge spontaneously from circumstance. Yesterday we had two foraging finds: king stropharia mushrooms in the parking lot of one of our favorite local hiking trails, and over three pounds of ancho chiles growing beneath the weeds in our second, abandoned community garden plot. We went to the hiking spot with the intention of searching for hedgehog and lion’s mane mushrooms deep in the woods, equipped with camera, knife, and basket. Before even stepping out of the car, we noticed a pound of gorgeous strophs basking in the sun. These turned out to be our only find of the hike; sometimes you don’t have to travel far to find the best mushrooms!

Risotto has long been a staple in my kitchen, but the union of king stropharias and ancho chiles was a new introduction. The meaty king stropharias offer a hearty, potato and red wine, quintessential mushroom flavor, while the roasted ancho chiles contribute a mild, delicate heat. A delectable dinner indeed!

King Stropharia

Serves 2

Ingredients for Risotto:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup Arborio rice
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 4-6 kale leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 tbsp cream cheese
  • ¼ tsp cracked pepper
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients for King Stropharia Garnish:

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • King stropharia mushrooms, sliced (ideally 5-9 medium mushrooms, but however many you have will do!)
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ bunch of parsley, chopped
  • Cracked pepper and coarse salt to taste

Ingredients for Roasted Ancho Chiles:

  • 3 ancho chiles
  • 1 tsp olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

Risotto: Begin making risotto by heating olive oil in a large pan and sauté shallots and garlic until translucent. Add the rice and sauté on a low heat for a couple minutes. Slowly begin to add stock, one cup at a time. Stir frequently and add the next cup of stock once the rice has absorbed the majority of the liquid. When the rice is tender, add the chopped kale, cracked pepper and white wine. Stir frequently and simmer on a low heat. Once the rice has absorbed the rest of the liquid, stir in Romano and cream cheese, and then salt to taste.

Roasted Ancho Chiles: Preheat the oven to 400° F. Cut peppers in half and remove seeds and fiber. Place chiles on a pan and brush lightly with olive oil. Roast chiles uncovered in oven for approximately 35-45 minutes or until tender and toasted.

King Stropharia Mushrooms: Leave approximately 10-15 minutes to prepare and cook these tasty morsels. Clean and remove any blemishes on the mushrooms, then slice and set aside. Heat butter in a pan and sauté garlic. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes. Stir mushrooms frequently and add white wine once they have been cooking for six minutes or so. Remove mushrooms from the heat once the edges begin to brown and simultaneously toss in parsley.

Final step! Serve risotto on top of the roasted ancho chiles and garnish with the king stropharia mushrooms. Mangia!

Ancho Chiles!

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