Last week I received a mysterious parcel. The box read “alternating pressure pump”, but inside was neither pressure pump, bicycle pump nor breast pump. Instead, this was box recycling at its best: what once held a pressure pump now bore a wonder of delights from my friend Tim Clinch, that rad peep photographer I met in Gascony last summer and who runs stellar food photography workshops in beautiful places like France, Bulgaria and Spain.
A few weeks ago I sent Tim a sample of the life-changing salsa macha, along with some dried chillies so he can make his own. In return, he sent me some of his homemade “oh fukkah it’s really good” dukkah along with an array of Turkish delights like date syrup, the best sumac ever (so far), dried gooseberries, a curious “raisin sausage” and this “limon tuzu”, aka lemon salt. Foodie pen pals are the best pen pals, don’t you think?
I’ve been having fun experimenting with the dukkah and spices (I’m saving the “sausage” for a special occasion). The dukkah is quickly becoming one of those “good with everything” sort of foods (much like salsa macha, and Chicago-style giardiniera since we’re on the subject). Today, it was time to tap the tuzu.
It was a spontaneous act, adding the lemon salt to the mushrooms. I was in a hunger-induced, post-swim, post-dog-walk panic, hastily frying the mushrooms, toasting the toast and barely finding the will to wash the rocket. It was time to salt the shrooms and I saw the tuzu before the sea salt, so in it went, and it totally transformed this fairly common breakfast into something totally tart, fresh and “fukkah yeah awesome”. A bit of thyme would have been great in here, but I couldn’t be bothered going outside so settled for a pinch of za’atar, which actually worked a treat.
In one sentence, here’s how it all came together: sautéed mushrooms with lemon salt and black pepper, served on sourdough toast with avocado, rocket and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
It took maybe 10 minutes to make, and I had to fight myself not to devour it in the same short amount of time.
My next mission is to photograph the dukkah as well as Tim photographed my chillies (see his blog – seriously, Tim, I will pay you for a print). Maybe Tim can help on this front, too… in fact, I know he can. And besides, I’ve always wanted to go to Bulgaria (I hear they have good cheese…and great photographers).