Emerge With Heirloom Cicada Bisque!
EMERGE! ENRAPTURE YOURSELF AND YOUR GUESTS IN THE SPLENDORS OF A 17-YEAR FEAST. Dazzle with your courage and creativity. Rock with a fitting tribute to that graduation, anniversary, birth, new job, retirement or other milestone of your life.
Heirloom Cicada Bisque (recipe below) soars over the competition. Carefully crafted from 17-Year Brood X 2021 Neighborhood Cicadas, this bisque is a one-of-a-kind offering with a friendly, intimate feel. It proudly showcases a rowdy banquet of root vegetables and seasonings to honor the cicadas’ years of underground feeding and raucous few weeks in the sun.
Internally confident, if not necessarily appealing, Heirloom Cicada Bisque also meets us where we are. Fragrant black specs of charred vegetables distract from unwanted musings on dismembered body parts. A delicious rum cicada marinade softens discordant insect notes while infusing the dish with rich, numbing overtones welcome to all. Consume an entire batch in one sitting or save some for a special event. The dish is easily transportable from freezer to freezer as you change appliances over 17 years.
Heirloom Cicada Bisque is a classic that won’t ever go out of style, because it never was in any kind of style and never will be—it just is. Enjoy the cicada moment!
20-30 newly emerged cicada nymphs
2 Tablespoons rum
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into wedges
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 medium turnip, peeled and cut into wedges
1 piece of yuca (about 4 ounces), peeled and cut into small chunks
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 hunk of celery root (about 4 ounces), peeled and cut into small chunks
3 Tablespoons peanut oil, divided
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced turmeric
1/2 cup apple cider
3-4 cups water
2/3 cup half and half
Fresh parsley for garnish, or actually anything
Boil nymphs in water for 2-3 minutes, drain and rinse. Cut off heads and wings. (Be careful, or you’ll yank the little guys right out of their shells.) Remove legs with fingers, as this is easier than cutting, although somewhat disgusting. (Freeze nymphs in advance if more convenient).
In a large bowl, coat onions, carrots, turnips, yuca, sweet potato and celery root with 2 tablespoons of peanut oil, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Roast in 425ºF oven on 2 cookie sheets, stirring once or twice, until vegetables soften, about 30 minutes.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of peanut oil in a large saucepan. Add ginger, turmeric and cicadas. Sauté, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes or as long as you can stand it.
Add roasted vegetables to cicada mixture in saucepan and stir to mix. Add apple cider and water up to level of roasted vegetables, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. (It may be hard to watch the glorious, multi-colored roasted vegetables simmering in a savory broth punctuated with revolting-looking bugs. Remember, however, that the cicadas are the stars of this feast, the jewels that will propel your dish to shiver and shine.) Let cool slightly.
Purée mixture in a food processor, return to saucepan and stir in half and half. Warm mixture and adjust seasonings, if desired. Serve garnished with parsley or other refreshing and distracting topping.