When you are using grain spawn to inoculate your logs, it is important to cover the grain with bees wax or food grade wax as soon as inoculated. After several weeks the mycelium will have taken to the log. Insect may eat out the grain which will have no adverse effect on the mushroom fruiting as the mycelium should have colonised your log.
So, what does one do with such an awesome Shiitake? It weighted 163 grams with a width of 20cm! I decided to make a Shiitake, goats cheese and garden greens quiche sprinkled with borage and calendula flowers.
I always use Stephanie Alexander's shortcrust pastry as it never lets me down and works with anything - sweet or savory.
Sift flour, add the pinch of salt and generally rub in butter. Tip onto your work bench, make a well, tip in the water and quickly combine through smearing the pastry across the bench away from you until it comes together. Wrap in plastic film and refrigerate until use. When using, I bake blind until it looks good and ready to use.
FILLING - Shiitake, goats cheese and garden greens. Honestly, I use anything in my quiche that jumps out at me when harvesting in the garden. I recommend you use whatever you want for the filling - the key is to use loads of herbs.
Chop Shiitake. I chopped the shiitake into small cubes but left about 8 long Shiitake strips to decorate on the top and provide texture/contrast.
Caramalise one large onion, add garlic, sea salt, pepper and Shiitakes. Cook until you are happy.
Add Chinese celery and garden greens
Garden greens: loads of Italian parsley, purple frilly mustard, cavolo nero, chard and thyme.
Add egg mixture - I whisk 3 free range eggs from the Australorp chooks outside with sour cream, a shaving of nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pour over the quiche and cover with long Shiitake strips, goats cheese, a shaving of parmesan cheese and garden cherry tomatoes. Bake in the oven.
Once ready, sprinkle with borage and calendula flowers to serve.
Comments made on the dish: "If it was served with a green garden salad with chive vinaigrette, it would have been a 9/10"