Deep in the Woods

hen of the woods

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.

torn hen of the woods

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.

Dinner:  October 1, 2009

It was a very good plan, and a very good meal. We didn’t even miss the meat.

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15 thoughts on “Deep in the Woods

  1. oh, this is absolutely what i would order if i saw it on the menu at a restaurant. and,
    i wouldn’t have been able to resist those mushrooms either.

  2. Mmm. I will now need to find me some this weekend. I had a tremendous gnocchi dish with 3 types of wild mushrooms on Tuesday and you just reminded me that I must recreate it!

  3. Lori says:

    OMG…I had one of these growning in my backyard. The thought of cooking it never entered my mind! I love your blog and I am now realizing I lead a very sheltered life, I need to experiment more and broaden my horizons. I will peruse your archives and start living outside the (pasta) box!

  4. this looks just delicious. i have a big bunch of hen-o-the-woods from the market this morning. now just need to find some corn tomorrow…. thanks for the yummy inspiration!

  5. I love hen of the woods aka maitakes! I started looking for them at the markets when I read about the cancer-fighting properties of this mushroom. They taste great too!

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