½-¾ lb. Maitake mushroom (cultivated or wild hen of the woods)
2tsps. dried thyme
3Tbsps. olive oil
Sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. If your oven has a convection mode, use the convection setting. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
No hen of the woods? This recipe also will work with other meaty mushrooms like large portobello caps and shiitakes. Cultivated mushrooms are available at your local health food store or food coop or farmers market.
Clean the tough stems from the bottom of the mushrooms. If working with a foraged mushroom, rip the mushroom apart, checking carefully for bugs, centipedes, fir needles and other contaminants. If needed, rinse thoroughly.
Using your hands, tear the mushroom into shreds in a large bowl. Cut the tough stem pieces off and set aside to make mushroom stock.
Pour the oil over the mushroom pieces and add the dried thyme. Mix well.
Place the oiled and shredded mushroom on the sheet pan. Roast until the mushroom is golden brown and crisp around the edges, about 50 to 60 minutes.
Remove from the pan back into the large bowl. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh pepper.
Serve as a side dish, on top of burgers, as part of a salad, or add to your favorite recipe that uses mushrooms.
"Maine Dish" columnist Cheryl Wixson lives and cooks in Stonington. Her passion for organic Maine products led to the creation of her business, Cheryl Wixson's Kitchen. She welcomes food-related questions and comments at [email protected] or www.cherylwixsonskitchen.com.