The wild weather of spring is in full swing with rainy days of the week punctuated by sunny ones that have us in flip flops and shorts. As the world above ground buzzes with the changing seasons so too does the web of life below. Generous precipitation coupled with warming soil breeds the necessary conditions for a wild delicacy of the forest to emerge – the morel mushroom.
Each spring brings a frenzy of reproduction in plants and animals alike. A mushroom is the fruiting body of some such procreation, the aboveground love child of fungi lurking below. We will spare you the lurid scientific details about fungal reproduction, but you can go here if you want to get technical. The morel is estimated to be approximately 129 million years old, clearly an organism with adaptive qualities. And like so many generations before us, we wander the forest floor looking for these wild edibles. The courtship phase of mushroom hunting turns into a full romance when we are lucky enough to discover our prize. And we consummate the relationship by giving the morel a proper preparation.
Like the best things in life, it is the beauty of simplicity that makes morels an easy companion to common ingredients like butter, salt and fresh herbs. A light sauté brings out the flavor and texture of the morel and there the mushroom can stand on its own. Morels pair well with other springtime ingredients like asparagus and peas and also elevate many pasta dishes. We adore the combination of spring flavors in the morel recipes at Honest-Food.net. Now to collect our bounty!
Editor’s Note: If you choose to forage for mushrooms or any wild edible, always make sure you can 100% positively identify your food before consuming it. Some edible mushrooms have similar appearance to toxic species. If you aren’t sure, don’t eat it.
Cheers and Bon Appetit!