I had a friend once who foraged bags of morel mushrooms right from his backyard. We feel lucky when we come across them at our local farmers market. I have been told that there are loads of secret mushroom foraging places here in the town where we live…and I’m starting to think I should stalk the mushroom hunters this spring since none of them will give up the locations of these mushroom havens. Of course, you need to know what you are doing when foraging mushrooms from the great outdoors and in my case a complete fear of being poisoned from wild mushrooms was instilled in me from a young age so I tend to be glad to purchase them from local farmers instead. We found an amazing selection of mushrooms on our recent trip to Eataly in Boston. We came home with quite a few, including a bag full of morels.
Inspired by the unusually warm February weather we opted to use them to make a really delicious “please let spring really be here” lunch. We started by slicing the morels lengthwise and then poaching them in a shallow pan with butter, water, shallot and a bay leaf. They simmered away for about fifteen minutes before we removed them from the heat and served them on top of some blanched asparagus along with leeks, a quails egg and some crispy sopresatta, or as it is known here, soupy. The end result was a restaurant worthy plate that our seven year old even adored. So simple and such a great reminder that spring really is right around the corner.