Field Trip: Spring Foraging

This year, in our move to use the supermarket less, we’ve been trying out the most primal form of harvesting food—foraging. And because we’re so new to it, we totally missed the rockstar of spring foraging, fiddleheads. Just a few hours north of us, the season is still on, but for us, we missed it.

But it’s ok, we’re not into rockstars anyways. Fiddleheads dot the forests in the spring, they’re more or less simply a matter of timing.

But something more elusive was on our minds. We wanted to find the beautiful morel mushroom. I had seen them on my parent’s farm growing up, but never tried them. I homeschooled for most of elementary school and can remember tripping over them during long days spent more in the woods than behind a desk.

I never tried them as a kid. I was a terribly picky eater, but I’m happy to have grown out of that, and this year Melanie and I tried our first morel. I was skeptical, since it’s a pretty hyped mushroom.

So I shook all of the dirt out, cut the one in the photo above in half, removed the unwanted, many-legged protein that was lurking in the hollow stem, and threw it in a pan with butter.

I have to say I’m 100% converted. It was delicious, mild, and gone in seconds!

So now we need more ideas. Or maybe frying in butter is best. Let us know if you’ve tried morels and how you use them.

12 comments

  • We let this particular one grow for a few days after this picture. When we picked it, the top of it… not sure what it's called… was about 4 inches tall.

  • I don't know that I've ever had a morel, but I'm salivating anyways. Have you tried shaggy manes? We find them frequently up at my family cottage (near Orillia). They are so delicious sauteed in butter. Mmm, now I'm craving wild mushrooms.

  • I had them in a stir fry at a fancy cooking class last spring. Oddly enough, with fiddleheads! The chef had suggested using with eggs. I think scrambling the eggs, and sauteeing the morels separately. Looks delicious

  • Morels are my passion this time of year. For fresh morels, I like to saute in butter and olive oil with garlic and chives. I also dry them when I find enough. They are an awesome mushroom! BTW, that is a great photo!

  • soak morels in madeira (not local, i know!) then use as a part of reduction sauce for pork tenderloin. yum.

  • mmmmm. yum! My husband and I were lucky to find about 2 dozen in the woods a couple Springs back while visiting a friend in Illinois. It took a couple hours to find maybe 20 of them but so so worth it! We carefully transported them back home, encountered the many little buggers ourselves whilst prepping them, then sauteed them with some wild onions. How I wish we knew of a good spot to find them near home!

  • So good! I grew up in Transylvania and my family and I used to go foraging all the time. My mom is a mushroom expert of sorts and knows her wild herbs and what they are good for… We picked chanterelles, portabellos and some large white puff of a mushroom whose name I do not know. We also used to make rose-hip jam and foraged for everything like rose-hips, chamomile, mint, raspberries, blueberries…anyway…I LOVE this blog!

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