I swung through the Boston Public Market on my way to the train station yesterday evening with every intention of picking up a steak or some chops for dinner, but I stopped in my tracks when I saw the biggest clump of mushrooms I have ever seen in my life. Hen of the Woods, the cluster as big around as a watermelon, gorgeous in their otherworldly way. I had to have them.
I grabbed a sizeable chunk and a couple of ears of corn, bought a knob of chevre from another vendor and continued on home, a plan formulating in my head. I’d roast the mushrooms, tearing them and tossing them with a bit of olive oil and salt, letting the flavor concentrate and the edges crisp, and I’d serve them on top of a risotto, rich with goat cheese and studded with shallots and tarragon and sweet kernels of butter-fried corn.
It was a very good plan, and a very good meal. We didn’t even miss the meat.