Cast Iron

Feta-Rubbed Maitake Mushrooms

December 13, 2022
1 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 30 minutes
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

Big Little Recipes has always embodied what I consider to be a well-rounded dish—simple and quick, yet highly-impactful. In light of Emma Laperruque’s departure, I wanted to keep the spirit of her small ingredient list/big flavor ethos alive while staying true to the community-driven aspect of Food52, which fueled my decision to transform BLR into a collaborative column. From now on, you’ll be hearing from an array of new and rising voices in the food and recipe development world. At Food52, we believe in building community through food, and I can’t think of a better way to do that than with this column.

So, with that, I’d like to re-welcome you to Big Little Recipes. First up: Hali Bey Ramdene, a writer, editor, and producer who focuses on building revolutionary projects in the food and wellness space. I’ll let her take it from here. —Emily Ziemski, Food Editor

Feta is what I call a “high impact cheese.” Like Pecorino Romano, sharp cheddar, and blue cheese, just a little bit of feta can amplify the dimensions of deliciousness of a dish or meal with its salty, savory, creamy qualities. This after all, is why we love cheese the way we do. It’s complex and plays nice with other food friends.

Right now, mushrooms are the food friends holding my attention. And I’m not alone. Haven’t you noticed the resurgence of interest in fungi? Is it our focus on more plant-based eating? The desire for foods that promise health? I’d wager it's all of the above. Nevertheless, our rediscovery of their versatility in the kitchen means we are eating them more frequently and trying out new-to-us varieties with the kind of curiosity that reminds us how pleasant it can be to try something different—even on a Tuesday night for dinner.

If your approach to dinner is already moving in the direction of adventure, this sheet pan of feta-rubbed maitake mushrooms may be calling to you too. Here’s how to answer. Find maitake mushrooms—also known as hen-of-the-woods. They are brownish-gray feathery clumps that become rich and earthy when cooked. Seek them out at your farmers market for the freshest of the fresh, otherwise, specialty grocery stores or Asian markets are a good bet.

Once cleaned and dried, rub the mushrooms down with a creamy blend of feta, herbs, and honey. Roast them until they give off their juices and grow deeply golden and crisp.

Out of the oven, they’re prime for a knife and fork meal with a brightly dressed salad on the side. More often than not, I like to heap them into a split baguette slathered in the last bits of the feta rub and finish with frilly green lettuce. One bite of all that big flavor, and I’m reminded it’s sometimes the little things—like that container of feta that never seems to go bad in the back of the fridge—that do a lot of heavy lifting. —Hali Bey

What You'll Need
  • 2 ounces firm feta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely grated
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pinch freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 pound maitake mushrooms clusters, kept mostly whole, trimmed or any dark bit at the base
  • honey, for drizzling
  • fine sea salt, to taste
  1. Heat oven to 425ºF. In a small bowl, combine the feta, oil, garlic, oregano, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Smash with a fork until a creamy paste forms.
  2. Using your hands, rub the paste over the mass of mushrooms, gently working the paste between the feathery layers of mushrooms until coated. Place the mushroom in a cast iron pan and roast until the mushroom clusters are deep golden brown and tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and drizzle with honey while still hot. Sprinkle with additional salt. Serve with any remaining feta dip.

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1 Review

food52! December 26, 2022
O.M.G. Sooooo Gooood!!! Luckily, we have Peimordia Mushroom farm fairly close to Lehigh valley, and the were able to deliver on these gorgeous hen o da woods shrooms… they turned out incredibly delicious - what a fab holiday side 👌🏼✨