Sassan Rostamian is the chef/owner at Sauce on Hampton in Venice. He loves Pakistani mulberries and uses them as a topping for ice cream. Trim the top of the fruit and poach in a pan with butter.
David West of Clearwater Farms brings mushrooms to the farmers market. This week he has porcini mushrooms, which are in season only through June and part of July. Use the green spore underneath the dome of the mushroom as it has intense flavor.
Gorgonzola Polenta with Fresh Porcini
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 lb fresh porcini* or white mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp paper towel and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 cup water
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 pound Gorgonzola cheese, preferably soft, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about ¾ cup)
For 1 recipe basic polenta, kept warm:
4 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 cup cornmeal or instant polenta
Garnish: fresh parsley sprigs
In a skillet heat butter over moderate heat until foam subsides and brown mushrooms with salt to taste, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add water and simmer, covered, 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender. Remove lid and simmer mixture 3 minutes, or until liquid reduces slightly. Stir in parsley and lemon juice and keep warm.
Stir 1/2 cup Gorgonzola into warm polenta until smooth. Divide polenta among 4 plates and spoon mushroom mixture on top. Tear remaining Gorgonzola into small pieces and sprinkle over each serving.
Garnish polenta with parsley.
To make basic polenta: In a heavy saucepan bring water and salt to a boil and gradually whisk in cornmeal in a thin stream. Cook polenta over moderately low heat (it should be barely boiling), stirring constantly, until very thick and pulls away from side of pan, about 40 minutes for cornmeal and about 15 minutes for instant polenta. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm. Stir polenta just before using. Polenta will keep warm, covered, about 20 minutes. Makes about 3 cups.