Every spring, just as we’re starting to get a few days above thirty degrees, I have the same dream. It’s starts out quite boring – it’s one of those dreams that seems like just an extension of your regular day. I’m going about my business walking the dog or coming home from work and all of a sudden I really start looking at my surroundings and there are morels everywhere. The more I look the more I see! There’s a patch growing next to my peonies! There’s a large yellow one growing next to my fence. I sometimes even spot a tip popping out of a snow bank just waiting for me to pluck it. I don’t think I have dreams where I am as happy as I am in my morel mushroom dreams. Sadly I wake up to reality. It’s still March and we’re a long way off from morel season. Even when they are in season I never have luck like that. Have you ever been morel hunting? When I was younger and had more time we would spend hours on end traipsing around the woods looking for morels. Of the countless times we went I only found them once and when I did I found like 4. Regardless I was ecstatic! Foraging for your own food can be magical.
Now that I’m older and have less free time I don’t forage for morels. Lucky for me every year we get some in at Fresh Picks so I still get a taste of this incredible mushroom without having to find it myself. Whenever I cook them I want to make sure their flavor really comes through so I prepare them very simply. You just paid an arm and a leg for them so you don’t want anything to overpower their unique flavor. My go-to is just sauteing them in some butter with shallots or onions, splashing in some cream and putting them atop toasts. I could eat this morning, noon or night! The recipe below says it serves 2 but this is with a heaping mound of morels on each toast. With this amount of morels you could easily stretch them a bit and serve 4. Alternatively if you’re having a party you could make the batch of sauteed morels and top toasted baguette rounds with it to make morel crostinis. It’s totally up to you whether you want to share your morels or not. I won’t judge you in the slightest if you decide to keep them all for yourself 🙂
Creamy Morel Toasts
Serves 2 (see note above about serving size)
2 TBS Unsalted Buter
8 ounces Morel Mushrooms
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup Yellow Onion, diced
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
Toast (I like a nice Italian bread – Labriola’s Tuscan Pane is my go-to)
Cut off any tough stems from the mushrooms and then slice in half lengthwise. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot add in the mushrooms. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until beginning to soften. Push the morels over to one side of the pan and drizzle in the smallest amount of olive oil onto the empty side. Let that heat to a shimmer and then toss in the yellow onions. Cook these in the olive oil separate from the mushrooms for a minute or so and then mix everything together and sprinkle with some salt. Lower the heat to medium low and cook for 5 to 6 minutes more until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are completely tender. Add in the heavy cream and cook a minute or so more, stirring frequently, until the cream clings to the mushrooms. Remove from heat and season more to taste. I feel like morels do well with a generous sprinkling of salt. Place the morel mixture atop the toasts and garnish with chives. Devour immediately.