On Monday and Tuesday of this week, we had toast for dinner. Now when I say “toast for dinner,” you may be imagining a stale piece of bread, smeared with a little butter and jam. That wouldn’t be a very filling dinner, now, would it?
No, the toasts that I made for dinner were hearty affairs; so filling, in fact, we almost couldn’t finish them. Consider them close cousins of bruschetta; they’re the kinds of toasts that you see sometimes at trendy restaurants, like ABC Kitchen in New York which serves a famous butternut squash toast. The premise is simple: a very thick slice of bread, toasted until very dark around the edges, and then topped with something rich and decadent.
I’d heard of them, Pim once gave me a delicious jam she’d made from them; but purchase them and eat them in the real world? I had not. And then, on a recent trip to the Hollywood farmer’s market, I saw piles of them everywhere.
It’s a known fact that chefs prize chanterelles more than any other mushrooms. In one of the cookbooks that I own (I forget which one), the chef/author instructs: “If you ever see chanterelles, buy them.”
And so it was that when I first saw chanterelles at the Hollywood farmer’s market more than a week ago, I kind of freaked out. I froze. I was like, “Oh my God! I’m supposed to buy these!” But a small bag of them cost $10 and I felt scared. So I didn’t buy them, mentioned the experience on Twitter, and my followers scolded me. Chef Sara Jenkins Tweeted to me, “So easy to cook! Saute w/ butter, thyme, parsley, toss w/ penne and parmigiano! Easy!” Emboldened, I made a point to buy chanterelles the next time that I saw them; and sure enough, this past Sunday, that’s precisely what I did.