Mac Farmer's Market

lions mane mushrooms The farmer's market is back in McMinnville. Over the winter you slowly forget how wonderful such small things can be. Just a block long with maybe two dozen producers, markets like this hold treasures supermarket buyers, including Whole Foods et al, can't give us. Every Thursday now through late fall you'll find me at the market.

Today's treasure was lion's mane mushrooms. As usual, each visit to a farmer's market I approach without a recipe in mind, letting the local provenance guide me. With the beautiful mushrooms  I added to my bag some fresh organic eggs, chives and the excellent aged Gouda from the Willamette Valley Cheese Company. Warm crusty baguettes from the Red Fox Bakery, just picked greens and a pint of fresh strawberries from a small organic farm guaranteed a perfect dinner.

The meal could not have been simpler:

For two:

4 or more large lion's main mushrooms (or other meaty, flavorful fresh mushroom) chopped into large chunks

2 cloves garlic peeled and smashed

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

A small wedge of aged cow's milk cheese like Willamette Valley Cheese Company's aged Gouda cubed

Minced fresh chives

Salt and pepper

5 large eggs with salt and pepper beaten lightly with a fork - using good eggs is very important so look for eggs with yolks that tend more towards orange than yellow

  • Smash the cloves of garlic, add  2+ tablespoons (depends on how big the mushrooms are) good extra virgin olive oil to a non-stick sauté pan over medium high heat (don't let it smoke), add the garlic and cook until golden brown, but not burnt, then remove and discard
  • Continuing over medium high heat add the very coarsely chopped lion's main mushrooms to the hot oil and stir fry for one minute.
  • Add beaten eggs, chopped chives, cubed cheese salt and pepper and scramble until just cooked
  • Serve immediately with fresh salad and bread

To match with this very local food I strangely enough grabbed a bottle from far, far away. The 2006 Domaine de La Gramière Côtes du Rhône, which is produced by two Americans, Amy Lillard and Matt Kling, who are living a dream that many of us have as they are living and making wine in France. I had resisted opening this wine for almost a year now as I felt it really needed a little time to come together and my patience was well rewarded.  The wine has broadened and gained more complexity and aromatics. This is one of those wines that is big to the French, but medium bodied to Americans. I love the meaty, smoky butcher shop aromas this wine has developed along with the bright, ripe black fruit flavors. I think it's going to get better for another year or so, but now that it's this good I don't know how I'll keep my hands off of it that long! La Gramière is imported by Kermit Lynch.

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