into the woods

food detective

Categories: Appetizers, Veggies and Sides, Dinner for Two, Cocktail Party, Sources, Posted on August 31, 2020 by Sandy Bergsten

On a recent trip to the Evanston’s farmers market I spotted these gorgeous “hen of the wood” mushrooms. If they sprouted legs and a beak you could almost imagine they would start to scratch and strut amongst the stands. 

Personal disclaimer- what often looks inspirational at the farmers market frequently turns out to be a bomb in my kitchen. So, before purchasing one of these exquisite fungi (behind my mask and the six-foot piece of yellow tape) I asked the nice mushroom man how best to cook one of these beauties.

He told me to drizzle my maitake mushroom with good olive oil, sprinkle it with kosher salt, and roast it at 375 degrees until crispy. He assured me that everyone returns with rave reviews.  Well I will be joining his ranks with high praise. His oven-roasted hen of the wood mushrooms were sublime! 

Procure one large or two small hen of the wood mushrooms.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil, top with a sheet of parchment paper.

Place the hen of the wood mushroom on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt. 

Roast until the edges are crisp and brown, about 18-28 minutes depending on the size of the mushroom.

Serve sliced as a side dish. 

For a fun hors d'oeuvre- cut off the crisp edges of the mushroom.

Spread small toasts with softened goat cheese.

Top with the crisp mushroom trimmings.

Don’t tell Willie…

But he kind of looks a little like one of these mushrooms!

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