Hunting The Wild Morel

A few weeks ago, my friends Paul and Liz went foraging for morel mushrooms, and they hit the jackpot. So much so that they offered up a box full of the prized ‘shrooms to The Chef and I, which we happily accepted!

A few days ago, The Chef took a stroll through the woods directly behind our house and guess what? He found some morels too!

Morel Mushrooms

The Chef’s morel haul … it’s only two, but they’re still delicious!

Not familiar with the morel mushroom? Only available for a limited time in April and early May, wild morel mushrooms are considered a rare delicacy … and trust me, they’re delicious! Simply sautéed in butter or starring with other Spring flavors in a knock ‘em dead dish, wild morels truly are a “foodie” treat.

But, not only are wild morels treasured for their smoky, nutty, and earthy flavor, they are also extremely fun to hunt, often becoming a family tradition that spans generations.

Have you done some morel hunting lately? If so, I’ve rounded-up some amazing recipes so you can put your fresh morel stash — no matter how big or how small — to good use!

Morel Collage

10 Morel Mushroom Recipes (clockwise from top left):

A few things to note … wild morels are often home to little critters hiding in their nooks and crannies. So, before you cook them, cut them in half and examine everything closely to remove any unwanted guests. Also, cultivated morel mushrooms are available year-round (and so are dried morels, which have an even stronger taste than the fresh ones) so don’t be discouraged if you can’t get your hands on wild Spring morels … you could use cultivated morels or rehydrated dried morels in these recipes as well.

And finally, do not eat any mushroom you find in the wild unless you’ve identified it as a safe edible and have cooked it thoroughly.

I cannot emphasize this point enough as there are many wild mushrooms that are truly inedible, often leading to severe illness or death. If you’re foraging for mushrooms for the first time, go with an experienced mushroom hunter. You can also check with your state’s Department of Conservation. They typically have many resources to help new mushroom hunters!

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  • EatingLocalintheLou

    You lucky dog you! We went out a few weeks ago to search and we came up empty handed. I agree, much of the fun of eating them is finding them!

    • http://rhubarbandhoney.com/ Kimberly

      We ended up drying a bunch of ours … can’t wait to savor them long after the season has passed!

  • kitchenriffs

    So cool that you know enough to hunt your own morels! And I had no clue you could find them in St. Louis. I need to learn about these beauties. Well, I already know all about their magnificent flavor, but I’m pretty sure if I went hunting them armed with my current lack of knowledge, I’d end up poisoning myself! Fun post — thanks.