Steemit Iron Chef 2018 Act 02 #01: Pine Pollen Pasta with Puffball Caviar and Fermented Redbud Flowers

Is this a weird combination? You be the judge. But it can't be bought anywhere! And it's delicious!

x puffball pine pollen pasta TN.jpg

The weirdest combination I could think of for this challenge is dried corn kernels, canned sardines, and peppermint candycanes. I have thought about that combination for a long time, but still can't figure out anything that makes sense! In fact, I'll open up my own special contest, right here and right now. I'll give a prize of $5 SBD to the best entry with those ingredients! Contest ends with the payout period for this post.

Getting It All Together!

When it comes to wild food, I have a hard time thinking of anything being really weird. So I'm just going with what I've got on hand.

x puffball pine pollen pasta 5.jpg
I have a Giant Puffball mushroom (left), pollen from my Ponderosa Pine trees (upper right), fermented Redbud flowers, fresh White Dawn roses, and fresh greens from the Bristly Hawksbeard (lower right).

If you want to know more about how to collect Pine Pollen for yourself, you can check out my earlier Steemit post: How To Harvest Pine Pollen.

In The Kitchen!

I use a simple recipe for my pine pollen pasta: equal amounts of flour and pine pollen, 1 egg and 1 egg yolk, a little olive oil. I'll make a separate post showing how I make it. It's super good!

For the Puffball Caviar, I sautee finely chopped puffball with elephant garlic, olive oil, and white wine. I'll make a post about that soon, too. It's super good!

x puffball pine pollen pasta 4.jpg
My finished Puffball Caviar, with pine pollen pasta ready to boil in salted water.


Is this weird? I'll leave you to be the judge of that. I'll venture, though, that nobody else in my town has eaten this particular combination!

x puffball pine pollen pasta 2.jpg
I simply steamed the Bristly Hawksbeard, and sliced the rose petals into thin strips. I topped the plate with a touch of black pepper. Pine pollen pasta is so good! The flavor of the pine pollen really comes through. But it would be a shame to cover it with a sauce.

x puffball pine pollen pasta 3.jpg
Puffball mushrooms are mild-flavored, too. So the puffball caviar goes perfectly with the pasta. The greens have just a touch of bitterness. The fermented redbud flowers have a slight tart bite, with a deep richness from the ferment. Both flavors are perfect compliments to the pasta and puffballs!

x puffball pine pollen pasta 1.jpg
The rich flavor of this porter matches this plate well. Why is this beer called "The Terry Porter"? Stay tuned for Beer Saturday to find out!

What Do You Think?

  • Have you eaten Giant Puffball mushrooms?
  • Have you eaten Pine Pollen?
  • Do you have any pine trees in near you?
  • Would you eat my pine pollen pasta and puffball plate?

I eat a lot of wild plants and show you how, because I believe that we can all have lives that are richer, more secure, more grounded, and more interesting by getting to know the plants and the land around us – in our yards, our parks, and our wild places.

Thanks @progressivechef for creating the Steemit Iron Chef contest series!

I try to make content that's interesting! If you found this informative and helpful, please give it an upvote and a resteem.

Plant List

  • Western Giant Puffball - Calvatia booniana
  • Bristly Hawksbeard - Crepis setosa -tender young leaves
  • Eastern Redbud - Cercis canadensis - flowers
  • Elephant Garlic - Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum - spring bulbs
  • Ponderosa Pine - Pinus ponderosa - pollen

Haphazard Homestead

foraging, gardening, nature, simple living close to the land

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My YouTube channel: Haphazard Homestead

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I was so eager to discover what entry you will come up with this time with such a theme...and as usual you did amazingly well my friend! And you are so right...this can't be more's actually more than weird and no one has ever tasted such a combination!
Thanks for always making us discover products we have never heard of...especially on this side of the world!

I Love stumbling upon these iron chef posts of yours.

One of these days when I have the time I intend to dig into your page with a notebook, you have much knowledge I do not.


Thanks, @borrowedearth! There is more to know about wild plants than any one person can learn in a lifetime. I've learned a lot here on Steemit! I wonder if @pennsif could host a Foraging topic on his radio show and we could talk with each other. There's a lot of great foragers here on Steemit!


Hi @haphazard-hstead and @borrowedearth - a foraging feature on The Alternative Lifestyle Show sounds like an excellent idea. Would you both be interested in doing that?

Any other foragers you know of that might be interested?


@pennsif I would honored. I am not familiar with many foragers on Steemit. I do know a couple who are beginning the journey like @senorcoconut and @armadillocreek. Maybe a little question and answer or advice session as part of it for beginners.

I did not eat such Giant Puffball mushroom like you, but ate small ones. And I think that the dish you cooked is delicious. And I would have drunk this porter! :)


Big or small, puffballs are worth eating! This way, of chopping them up so small, works well for the small puffballs, too. But I like using some of the Giant Puffball as big slabs. Thanks for joining me to eat my lunch! :D


You're welcome!

I get so excited when I see you have posted. I think ... oh goody ... I am going to learn more abotu the earth around me. You really are an inspiration on steemit. This post was no exception.

Loved the idea of the fermented flowers and mushroom caviar. Not sure about the pollen pasta though ... given my pollen allergy that might just knock me off lol. But for creativity ... full score.

I will have to think on some candy cane and sardine combos though ... I think I might need to get vodka involved:)

Such a treat to read you:)


Thanks, @prydefoltz! I don't know where I've been, lol. A hiatus, I guess. Some folks with allergies say that eating problem pollen is one way to reduce their sensitivity. Or honey made from that pollen. But I don't have any allergies, except Poison Oak/Ivy/Sumac. I've personally known old-timers, though, that ate baby Poison Ivy leaves every spring -- for 2 weeks, 1/day, as the leaves grew from brand-new to larger sizes. I just can't bring myself to try that!

I'm serious about that candy cane & sardine contest! : )


Lol ... I know you are:)

Ok, I must admit I never had any of that but I would like to try the pollen pasta. Now about mixing corn, pepermint canes and sardines... Eh... Nope! Haaa


That pine pollen pasta is really good! If you've ever had bee pollen, it's flavor is similar to that. I'm serious about that contest! Over the years, I have thought about that combination way more than any person should, lol.

More contestants this is getting better and better

Very rich food sometimes those combinations are better than we think


Thanks, @yesslife. There's a lot of great food in the Steemit Iron Chef contest, that's for sure!

We live in a grove of pines, though I have no idea what their variety is. We occasionally find clumps of their pollen on the ground in spring but probably not enough for this recipe. Their branches are all much too high to try to collect it any other way. How do you collect your pine pollen? Your Pine Pollen Pasta has piqued my interest.


I find trees where the branches are closer to the ground. Then I take the male pollen cones off before they open all the way. I let them sit on a big tray to finish opening up and release their pollen. Here's a video I made about how to do it. It works for any of the Pine family (Pinaceae), although every species tastes a little different. How To Harvest Pine Pollen I do hope you can try some pine pollen sometime. It's neat stuff. Great for any baked goods and pancakes, too!


I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for pine groves that have lower branches and then come back next spring! Is it very expensive to buy?

I would eat any food that you make my dear @haphazard-hstead and those Giant Puffball mushrooms I would love to eat.
You are wonderful with nature you show us that if you can eat and live with nature itself


Thanks, @gladysstillwagon! You understand and appreciate how much the wild plants and mushrooms can provide to us! There are so many more plants to eat than what is for sale at the market. Happy natural cooking! :D

Would you eat my pine pollen pasta and puffball plate?
Yes! Duhh :D
That pasta looks super good! What are those white shavings?


That pasta is really good. Those are the sliced white rose petals. They don't add much flavor like this, lol. But they look nice. I like steeping them in milk or in water. Then their flavor comes out. White Dawn is a good rose - a a real climber. It's in the background of this picture:


They look like cheese or some white veggie shavings :D

What a lovely little snail!!

Of course I would eat yours delicious looking meals!! You continuously amaze me.


Thanks, @melinda010100! I'm continuously amazed at how many edible plants there are out there. As the seasons keep changing, there's always something new to enjoy.

Hi, we have voted on your post because you have posted your article to either food, recipe, recipes, cooking or steemkitchen #tag. Steemkitchen is a brand new initiative where we want to build a community/guild focused purely on the foodie followers and lovers of the steem blockchain. Steemkitchen is out of the conceptual phase and growing each day. We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.

We are almost ready to Launch the first Decentralized Recipe and Food Blog Website that will utilize the Steem BlockChain and its community to reward contributions by its members.

Please consider joining us at our new discord server

Also please consider joining our curation trail on to help support each other in this community of food and recipe lovers.

Kind Regards


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Beautiful dish and it looks yummy!

Among the ingredients, I especially like the Giant Puffball mushroom, fermented Redbud flowers, and fresh White Dawn roses. They are great combination….

In the meantime, I am curious to know how to cook the pine pollen pasta and the Puffball Caviar…. Looking forward to your posts about them with much interest. ;)

I have eaten puff ball mushrooms before but I never really figured out a good way to cook them. The puff ball caviar sounds good. I am also intrigued by the pine pollen. I never thought about using it as a food but it is often abundant around here.

Since you are interested in iron chef and are very creative you may also enjoy my Prepper Cook-off Challenge. I am coming out with a new one later today so you may want to check it out.

WOW! I got to say that puff ball is big enough to feed an army!

I have never had pine pollen but of course I would eat what you made!!! Gladly LOL. You know I havent missed too many meals in my day :)

No one on here makes a meal ( and I mean even conventional food) look as good as yours!

Oh, my friend @haphazard-hstead! Your food compositions cause my appetite! This looks extremely useful! I enjoy it!

Wow, you are so creative! I would have never thought about using pine pollen in pasta. I love the smell of pine, I think in a pasta it would be amazing. And puffballs? I never knew they were edible. Love it! Love it!

It looks fantastic and so delicious!

Very beautiful photography
Thank you for the sharing post

Guau this contest is wonderful, well I tell you what I would do, it hurts that I could not have the resource to hand but how would use these wonderful ingredients,
dried corn kernels, canned sardines, and peppermint candycanes
Well with the dried corn kernels, I would cook the dried corn, and after it was cooked, the mill would take it to obtain a paste called maize or nixtamised corn as we know here.
With this dough or pasta of dry corn, cooked it would proceed to add peppermint candycanes diluted in water to permeate this corn nixtamizado,
then with this corn nixtamisado I would add an orange dye to make the most colorful dough, then make some small circular tortillas and in the center of them I would add the canned sardines, and close the circle or omelet in half making a seal the sides to leave inside the filling of canned sardines, obtaining a form of cupcakes as we say here, ahhhh you have to add a little salt to dry corn nixtamizado, and these cupcakes fry them in oil for about 5 minutes and ready we would have some delicious little cakes filled with canned sardines.
This is all, this is not my participation since I would have to do it and show the images of how it would be and unfortunately I do not have them at hand, but I leave you with the idea that there would be spectacular menthol cakes filled with canned sardines.
By the way that more beautiful fungus someday I hope enjoy it, and I guess the Pine Pollen, should give your pasta a spectacular taste.
a hug and happy foraging