Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It’s Morel Time

After the whites and grays of winter, we welcome the crisp yellow-greens of spring. The first edibles to arrive: fiddleheads, rhubarb, asparagus, and morel mushrooms. Last weekend I took a trip to northwest lower Michigan to see spring at its best. I stopped by the Morel Festival in Boyne City.

As a foodie / locavore, I covet the morel mushroom. They pop up in the spring in deciduous woodsy areas. They appear to have a fairly wide territory – including Michigan. When you ask people where they find them – they will not tell you. Since they sell for $45.00 per pound, I can see why. I purchased one half pound at the Morel Festival, where they are often sold in the back of pick-up trucks. I also saw some for sale at the Fulton St. Farmers Market in Grand Rapids on Tuesday.

The big feature at the Morel Festival is the tasting tent: a big white tent; the perimeter lined with tables of hot food prepared by local restaurants. The mini menus featured the morel mushroom (of course). It included soups, ravioli, pot pie, pizza, pasties, and much more. If you missed the Morel Festival, keep reading.

We brought back the morel stash and developed the following recipe. It makes two servings – but you might want to double it, because it is tasty.

1. Cook 6 ounces of Spaghetti Jim’s whole wheat fresh pasta following the package directions.
2. Heat olive oil in a pan and sauté 1/3 pound asparagus (1 inch pieces) and 1/3 cup chopped onion. Then add 1/4 pound of morel mushrooms (you can use less) and continue until the asparagus is tender and the morels are browned.
3. Make a light sauce of 2 Tablespoons Dancing Goat plain goat cheese, 1/2 T olive oil, and 3 - 4 T vegetable broth or to desired consistency.
4. Combine the above, heat through, and top with 1/2 T fresh minced chives and fresh ground pepper.
5. Enjoy.

If you missed the Morel Festival, One Trick Pony in Grand Rapids is having a Morel Fest. It starts Thursday May 19th and goes through Sunday May 22nd 2011. They plan to serve four morel menu items – including pizza.

More information on morel mushrooms.

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1 comment:

  1. I LOVE morels! Haven't had a chance to go hunting this year yet though :-(