I love dishes that consist mostly of vegetables. I think plates of vegetables that resemble small gardens are vibrant, textured, and earthy. As a culinary student I have been exposed to various unique ingredients. Many of them you will never find in a grocery store, but have to hunt down at a farmers market or order though a food purveyor. I was rather excited to find bamboo rice, maitake mushrooms, and beech mushrooms at the grocery store nearby! I was excited to purchase something besides the button mushroom and arborio rice I am used to finding at the market.
The focal point of this dish lies among the three asymmetrical spheres of bamboo rice risotto. The small trail of fungi and vegetables that surround each stack, consists of fruity beech mushrooms, woody maitakes, white eggplant and purple striped eggplant, seared pearl and cipollini onions, red radish, yellow pepper curls, and chiffonade fried kale with a dusting of nori. The mushrooms are meaty, eggplant buttery, onions sweetly bitter from caramelizing, and the radish, they just sit there looking pretty!