It’s not always broccoli and cauliflower around here for side dishes. I’ve exhausted zucchini this summer and we’ve had our share of brussels sprouts, green beans, and asparagus. It was time to get a little more creative with dinnertime sides. I’m a big fan of mushrooms and their medicinal properties have been highlighted more as of late, but you won’t find those medicinal properties in your run of the mill supermarket mushroom, you have to go a little more exoctic then button mushrooms for the immune boosting and cancer fighting beneft. In that case, I turn to “Hen of the Woods” aka Maitake mushrooms. They grown in large clusters that resemble the tail of a nesting hen, hence the name. Maitake provide antiviral benefit and immune enhancing effects that have also been noted to balance blood sugar.
I pair these roasted mushrooms with fresh herbs and finish with a rich and creamy lemon cream sauce to offset the earthiness. These make a great pairing with my Herb Roasted Tempeh and Cauliflower Puree.
Herb Roasted Hen of the Woods Mushrooms with Lemon Cashew Cream
3 bunches of Maitake (Hen of the Woods) mushrooms
1 tsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
pinch sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup raw cashews
2 cups boiling water
juice and zest of 1 lemon (approx. 2 T. lemon juice)
1-2 garlic cloves
pinch sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, if you have a convection oven, use the convection mode. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Break the mushroom into small clusters. Place them in a medium bowl, drizzle generously with olive oil, then sprinkle with the rosemary and thyme, finish with sea salt.
Line the mushrooms in a single layer on the parchment lined sheet pan and roast until golden brown and slightly crispy on the edges (approx. 35-40 minutes).
While mushrooms cook, make your lemon cashew cream. Soak cashews in boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain. Then add cashews, lemon juice and zest, garlic clove, and sprinkle of sea salt into a high powered blender. Blend until smooth.
Drizzle the cashew cream over the cooked mushrooms and finish with a sprinkle if salt and pepper.