Back when I lived in the woods in Southern Indiana, this week’s weather would have been the sort I’d wait for all spring: warming trend, overnight rains, a couple of days up in the seventies, with nights that aren’t too cold. Yesterday was exactly the type of day that would have had me putting on my hiking boots and heading out to search for morel mushrooms.
These days, with city living and my busy schedule, I’m left looking to the markets, and scored this morning at the Green City Market, so we have morels on the Southern Table this evening! The dish will be
- Seared diver scallops with morel mushroom & Carolina golden rice “risotto” and local asparagus, chive beurre blanc
Frankly, we’re losing our shirts offering these very expensive morsels on our weekday prix fixe, but that’s what the word lagniappe is for: consider it a little something extra! It’s a little gift from us to anyone who can make it by for dinner this evening.
Carolina Golden Rice is the oldest cash crop of the Americas, and is one of the grains offered by Anson Mills, where Glenn Roberts is doing the critical work of hunting down these lost and forgotten grains and saving them for our generation and the future. Golden Rice was farmed in the Lowcountry already in the 1600’s, and while it’s a medium grain, it shares a number of properties with arborio, notably that the outer layer of starch is very soft, so when stirred during cooking, you get a very creamy finished product with a grain that retains a great deal of bite. You’ll find that this world heritage strain of rice shows a much richer and more complex flavor than today’s factory-manufactured arborio, and we’re proud to be serving this delicious treat that’s also a historic treasure!