June is a good month for minimalism – single ingredients tickled in the right way – and our beloved oysters, served in a vegan course.
Defrosted salted cucumber
Slice cucumbers larger than the intended serving size, to compensate for shrinkage.
• Keep the skin and seeds together, but split the cucumber open to allow proper salting and to expose the seeds.
• Salt the cucumbers generously, then place them individually on ice for 20 minutes.
• Freeze the cucumber overnight, to be defrosted when needed. This process gives the cucumber a unique ‘cooked’ texture and a flavour similar to oyster.
To make mushroom ‘papaya’ miso:
Select high-protein mushrooms.
• Cook mushrooms over a high heat quickly.
• Cool, then blend with 2% of the enzyme ‘papain’ and 3.5% salt.
• Place in an airtight container at 40°C for a week.
• Blend equal parts oyster meat with mushroom ‘papaya’ miso.
• May to June – serve fresh pollen.
This is the most prized stage of the alexanders’ life. The overwhelming abundance of this mighty crop means that you can pick enough for a whole year.
Gently use a spray tap to rinse the flower head, removing any insects and taking care not to wash the pollen from the plant.
We serve the pollen fresh for as long as we can, then to preserve it we use scissors, separating the individual flowers to almost the consistency of sand and drying them on trays at room temperature. It takes a long time, but then it’s a very precious product.
To prepare the dish
Defrost and dry the cucumber.
• 50g defrosted salted cucumber
• 10g oyster sauce
• 5g stonecrop
• 0.5g Alexander pollen
Recipe taken from the ‘June’ menu at ‘Silo, reproduced in Silo: The Zero Waste Blueprint’. Read the review of the book here