Mashua

This edible, very productive plant (Tropaeolum Tuberosum ) is originally from the Andes. It grows very well in colder climates, it’s not very demanding and comes back year after year thanks to its tubers. Other names include Capucine TubéreuseKnollige Kapuzinerkresse en Knolcapucien.
We saw Mashua Tubers in our local bio supermarket and we bought them, without having a clue how to prepare the tubers.

The leaves are supposed to taste like Indian Cress (same family) and the deep orange-red trumpet flowers will do very well in a salad. The leaves can also be turned into pesto or prepared like spinach. The tubers (vibrant yellow with an intriguing purple pattern) are often used in stews and soups. They can be eaten raw in a salad, grated or thinly sliced. Not our favourite. The taste is radish like, but sharper and not very elegant.
The taste and the texture of the cooked mashua tubers took us by surprise: delicate cocoa but not sweet, moist and with a pleasant structure thanks to the peel.

We combined our Mashua with chicken and shiitake, a combination that worked very well, although we must admit we were a bit overwhelmed by the Mashua!

Wine Pairing

A medium bodied, fruity, non-oaked red wine will go very well with the Mashua. A glass of Merlot perhaps?

What You Need

  • For the Mashua
    • 5 Mashua Tubers
    • Cumin
    • Shallot
    • Olive Oil
  • For the Chicken
    • 2 Organic Chicken Thighs
    • 50 grams of Shiitake
    • Olive Oil
    • Black Pepper

What You Do

Wash the mashua (don’t peel them) and cook for 5 minutes. Let cool. Slice the tubers lengthwise in two. Dry with kitchen paper. Peel the shallot, quarter and slice. Warm a small skillet. Add a generous amount of olive oil to the pan, glaze the shallot for a few minutes, add cumin (crushed seeds preferred) and then add the halved mashua. Leave for 30+ minutes until just a bit soft. Turn them occasionally to coat the roots with the flavours of the oil, the shallot and the cumin. No need to colour them. Add some extra cumin 5 minutes before serving.
In parallel, fry the chicken thighs and transfer to the oven (60 °C or 140 °F). Clean and slice the shiitake, add to the pan and fry. Add the chicken, allow to integrate. Add black pepper to taste.

  • Mashua ©cadwu
  • Mashua Cooked ©cadwu

Horn of Plenty with Cumin and Pork Fillet

The name Horn of Plenty refers to the shape (very much like a funnel without a stem) of the mushroom and to the mythical goat Amaltheia, whose horn would be filled with everything you whished for. It’s also called Black Chantarelle, which is very appropriate because it’s a chantarelle and truly black when cooked. The more morbid name is Trompette de la Mort, as if the buried use the mushrooms to play the Marche Funèbre.

More importantly to us: they are very edible with a pleasant fibrous and chewy texture. The only downside is that they quickly become soggy and smelly, so make sure you buy (or harvest) dry ones and use them the same day or the next.

For some reason Horn of Plenty simply loves cumin. We also added coriander and fennel seed to give some additional lightness and freshness to the combination.
And as always, only use the very best organic pork.

Wine Pairing

A medium bodied, not too complex, red wine will be perfect. Think Merlot, Tempranillo, Grenache, Cabernet Franc, Carménère.

What You Need

  • 150 grams Horn of Plenty
  • One Red Onion
  • Cumin, Coriander and Fennel (seeds)
  • Black pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Pork Fillet

What You Do

Clean the mushrooms thoroughly. This can be time consuming. Slice the pork fillet to create 6 medallions. Heat a heavy iron skillet and fry the medallions in olive oil until just underdone. Wrap in aluminium foil and leave to rest. Slice the red onion, add some olive oil to the pan and fry the onion. Grind cumin, coriander and fennel seeds and fry the spices. Lower the heat, perhaps add some more olive oil and fry the mushrooms for 5-10 minutes. Taste, adjust and add some black pepper. Add the juices from the pork to the pan, deglaze and serve.

  • Horn of Plenty with Cumin and Pork Fillet ©cadwu
  • Horn of Plenty ©cadwu