Tuesday, May 5, 2015

April Field Notes: Mushrooms

April was a slow, meditative walk through the woods, with my eyes down and roaming in search of that little (or large if I'm lucky), perfectly camouflaged morsel - the Morel mushroom. This morel season was pretty successful but not legendary. I have heard and seen pictures of the most epic harvests of morels. Oh to be so lucky!

I spy with my little eye: look how perfectly it blends in!

This year I even found a false morel, pictured below. Don't eat these guys, the are poisonous. For me the difference is obvious but the real giveaway is that a false morel is not hollow and an edible morel is hollow when cut lengthwise.

False Morel

Inside of false morel.
I have also been finding Devil's Urn, below, in my woods especially on downed tree logs. I think they should rather be called Elfin Cap, it's much less sinister. These are not edible. They look really spectacular and if you run your finger inside them and wait a second or two and magical little swirl of spores spirals out of them. I think there is a story hiding inside them.  

A fitting hat for any woodland sprite, gnome, elf or fairy don't you think?

Here was my favorite morel creation. A pizza on a toasted flour tortilla. First I sauteed some chopped onion in butter until tender, then I added a little cream and salt and pepper - just enough cream to make a paste like sauce. I smeared this on an already toasted tortilla. On top of this I added my sliced morel mushrooms, some cheese (whatever you like but I added garlic cheddar & mozzarella). I also added a thinly sliced tomato and a drizzle of olive oil. I baked at 350 for around 10 minutes. You want the mushrooms to get cooked thoroughly. You could sautee mushrooms first as well. YUM!

No comments: