Saturday, May 21, 2011

What the heck do I do with....Morels??

I was lucky enough to come across some wild morels a few weeks ago, purely by chance. My parents live in a townhouse development and my kids like to play on a small patch of land across from their townhouse; it's part landscaped and part developed into garages.....the middle of the space is sparsely covered with trees and shrubs and other natural vegetation. The perimeter is landscaped with daffodils, tulips and azaleas. The spot is raised upon a stone wall.
I was jumping up on the wall to play kids when my eye spotted the first morel, simply sticking up out of the mulch, away from any plants, right on the edge of the stone wall and the landscaped area.
I sucked my breath in with shock and shrieked That's a morel!!!!!! My son spied it at the same time and shouted Woah, what's that?!?! So, I picked it, freaked out and did a little dance!!!
I found a couple more not too far from that first one.
We searched around the area and ended up finding a bunch more. Most were found in the daffodil plants, sticking up straight like statues.
I was beside myself. We ended up finding in between 0.25 and 0.5 lbs....not bad for a random chance.
Here's the lot of them:
I prepared them simply, by sauteing them with shallots, garlic, parsley and thyme, then finishing the dish with a squeeze of lemon juice. I served them over micro greens.
Prior to cooking the morels, I split them in half and soaked them in salted water.
The dish was delicious. The morels were meaty and delicate at the same time; they paired great with the shallots and thyme.
I went back to look for more morels but I was unsuccessful at finding any more. I'm hoping next season that I'll find more :)