Cicadas haven't yet emerged in the Connecticut area, so Lai's final recipes are are still in the planning phase. However, during a 2004 cicada invasion, Jenna Jadin, who was then a researcher at the University of Maryland, tested a number of dishes for her Cicada Cookbook.Two recipes are used here with her permission. She warns that although cicadas are eaten all over the world by millions of people, they may have pesticides on them, so consult your doctor before eating.
Collect cicadas early in the morning, just as they are emerging from the earth. You can store them in the refrigerator or freezer. If you can’t find juveniles, which are called tenerals and are especially tender, you can eat mature females. Remove hard parts, such as wings and legs, from the adults. Boil cicadas for 5 minutes to kill any bacteria before using in a recipe.
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 beaten egg white
About 60 parboiled dry roasted cicadas (roast in 400 degree oven for about 8 minutes so that they retain some moisture)
1. In a large bowl, beat shortening with eggs, the 1 1/2 cups sugar, baking powder, and vanilla until well combined, scraping sides of bowl.
2. Gradually stir in flour till thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and nuts. Cover and chill for 1-2 hours or until dough is easy to handle.
3. Meanwhile, stir together the 1/3 cup sugar and beaten egg white. Place cicadas on waxed paper; brush with egg white mixture and set aside.
4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on un-greased cookie sheets. Place a cicada on top of each ball, pressing lightly.
5. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or till edges are set. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Yield: 60 cookies
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley
4 cups chopped tomatoes, including juice and seeds
1 1/2 cup coarsely chopped shittake mushrooms
3/4 cup coarsely chopped red onion
3/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped
1 1/2 cups blanched cicadas
1 cup feta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 recipe of your favorite pizza dough (for a 12” pizza) or store-bought dough
1. Heat oil in sauté pan over medium low heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden.
2. Add the herbs and cook for another minute, until wilted.
3. Add the tomatoes and juice, turn the heat to low, and gently cook, covered, for 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and the liquid had been absorbed and the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat.
4. Meanwhile,prepare the dough by rolling it out to desired thickness and shaping it into a12” circle. Using a shallow wooden spoon, spread the tomato sauce over the pizza dough to the desired thickness.
5. Distribute the rest of the ingredients evenly over the top of the pizza.
6. Place pizza in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until the top is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.