This showstopper — using a dry rub adapted from Greg Collier, the chef and co-owner of Leah & Louise in Charlotte, N.C. — is an opportunity to explore different mushroom varieties. Black oyster mushrooms give a brawny bite, and effortlessly hold the soulful seasoning while getting the crispest, crunchiest edges. Fuzzy white lion’s mane or even portobellos work, too; just buy the biggest mushrooms you can find. This recipe uses Worcestershire sauce, which typically includes anchovies, so be sure to seek out vegan Worcestershire if you’d like to make the dish vegan. Serve with sweet potato pikliz. —Nicole Taylor
Yield: 3 to 6 servings
For the Rub
½ (packed) cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup hot paprika
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1½ teaspoons cumin seed
1½ teaspoons dry mustard
For the Mushrooms
2 pounds large clusters of black oyster mushrooms or lion’s mane, or portobello mushrooms
½ cup canola oil or grapeseed oil
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
Make the rub: In a large bowl, combine all rub ingredients and mix well. Reserve ¼ cup rub for the mushrooms and put the rest in an airtight container for another use, such as chicken, salmon or cauliflower.
Prepare the mushrooms: Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a slightly damp kitchen towel, wipe the mushrooms to remove any dirt. (Don’t rinse the mushrooms or submerge them in water.) Carefully cut or tear the mushrooms into 6 large pieces about the size of a hand.
Place the mushrooms on a large sheet pan and drizzle them with the oil and Worcestershire sauce. Gently massage the reserved ¼ cup dry rub into the nooks and crannies of the mushrooms.
Roast the mushrooms on the top rack until deeply browned and crisp at the edges, about 40 minutes.