Mmm...shittake bacon. I first heard about this wonder from a coworker who attended The Natural Gourmet Institute. She said if you take some shittake mushrooms, slice them thin and toss them in olive oil with a little salt and pepper and then roast them at 450 till they are crispy they taste just like bacon. Well after reading up on this a little bit on the interwebs I found a lot of people marinate their shrooms first in soy sauce or nama shoyu with a hint of oil tossed in. You gotta be careful of the cooking time as these will go from kinda slimy to perfect to burnt in no time. I didn't know how long they would take so I started with 10 mins and then just checked every five. If you have an oven window all the better! I read somewhere that you lose at least 25 degrees of heat everytime you open your oven.
It seemed like a shame to heat up the oven for 15-20 mins worth of cooking especially since I had a beautiful head of cauliflower from the farmers market just begging to be used. The solution? Chop the cauliflower into small florets, put them on a sheet pan and drizzle them lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and put in the oven while marinating the already chopped mushrooms. Give the mushrooms about 10 mins to marinate and drain the liquid. Put these babies on another sheet pan and put in the oven (this could be a good time to toss your cauliflower as well.)
While these were in the oven I started a small pot of boiling water and mad a batch of long grain and wild rice. Once everything was done mix everything together in a large bowl. The saltiness of the mushrooms is intense and the sweet roasted flavour of the cauliflower helps to temper it, and they both break up the otherwise monotonous texture of the rice.
All in all its a quick, easy, and warming fall meal.