When I was a kid, we considered morel mushrooms a natural right—our gift from spring for making it through another Iowa winter. My dad would head into the woods on a Saturday morning and return with garbage bags stuffed full of ‘shrooms. To this day, sautéed morels with a side of rhubarb sauce remains my all-time favorite meal.
Morels make a kingly feast—and unfortunately, they’re priced royally, too. My dad would be highly amused to see that a pound of morels runs anywhere from $30 to $50 these days. I wish I’d asked for a mushroom hunting lesson before he died.
This video of seasoned morel hunter John Ratzloff and chef, activist and filmmaker Daniel Klein is a great introduction to wild morel foraging and offers some tips on how to prepare them as well. It's the next best thing to my dad.
Morels harmonize with root vegetables, especially early crops of beets, carrots, and potatoes, Carolyn Dille writes in Natural Home. She suggests mixing morels with early spring vegetables such as peas, asparagus or arthichokes.
The Perennial Plate Episode 7: Hunting Morel Mushrooms from Daniel Klein on Vimeo.