Our neighbor Myriam hit a bonanza of Hen of the Woods (Maitake) Mushrooms a few weeks back. She’s a forager, gathering ramps in the spring, mushrooms in the fall, and who knows what in between.

Hen of the woodsShe called and left an excited message about her bounty. “Would we like some?”  “Of course!” I hustled right over.  She had four good size heads, ranging from light tan to a dusty gray.

At  home, I broke off the feathery florets, brushed off any dirt, tore them into smaller pieces all the while, savoring their gentle woodsy, mushroom aroma. Hen of the Woods are a little tougher than some and take a little time in the pan to soften and cook. I gave them a gentle saute in olive oil until they browned around the edges.

With roast pork tenderloin

With roast pork tenderloin

With a roast pork tenderloin and apple cider pan juices, they were delightful and all the more enjoyable for being plucked right from the woods.

If you don’t find any wild Maitake, they’re offered as a side at The Tavern at Gray Barns with vin jaune and a touch of cream – delicious!