Roasting 101: Mushrooms

 

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Roasting vegetables is a delicate art.  But also quite simple if you follow some guidelines.  Most important is leaving space for your veggies to roast.  If you crowd them too close together, they will steam.  You need to expose as much surface area of the ingredient as possible to ensure even browning.  Make sure your knife cuts are consistent - the goal is to have all the food be roasted and cooked at the same time.  To accomplish this, make sure that all the pieces you are roasting are roughly the same size.  Chefs are not necessarily crazy about perfect knife cuts, but we are crazy about thinking through what the purpose of a knife cut is.  We don't mindlessly chop.

Take mushrooms.  High heat - say 425 degrees, well spaced, evenly cut.  Go easy on the seasoning, just a little grapeseed oil, salt, fresh cracked pepper and roast on a sheet pan until just beautiful.  The goal is not mush or to dry out the mushroom, we want them almost crisped on the outside and full and meaty on the inside.  Serve with some buttered noodles, next to a steak, some fish, or in a taco.

Roasted Shiitake Mushrooms

1 pound

shiitake mushrooms

2 tablespoons

grapeseed or olive oil

salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Remove the stems from the shiitakes.  With a slightly damp paper towel, wipe the tops of the mushrooms one by one, removing any debris or dirt.  Handle them gently and don't submerge them in water.  Slice the mushrooms into 1/4 inch slices.

Place mushroom slices into a bowl and toss with the oil, salt, and pepper.  Lay onto a sheet pan, leaving plenty of space between each slice, at least 1/4 inch.  Use two sheet pans if you are feeling a little crowded.

Roast in the oven about 12-15 minutes, stir and flip the mushrooms halfway through.  Use your judgement on determining when they are done - and by that I mean taste one.  They should make you happy.  If they don't, cook them a little longer or if they are burnt to a crisp, next time pay a little more attention!