Spring Ingredient: Morel Mushrooms

Morel mushrooms, a favorite of North American foragers, are here! Spring is the time when moral mushrooms are found in shady forests near streams, but are also likely available at your local farmers market or grocery store. These mushrooms have a unique taste - like others, they have a rich and meaty texture, but possess a striking nutty flavor that you'll remember for the rest of the year. When paired with creamy tastes and textures, morels become a luscious treat.

To clean morels, you can brush them off with a damp cloth or quickly soak them and then pat dry; either way, you want to get them too wet because morels will absorb water and become soggy. Be sure to keep them in paper, never plastic, bags to prevent sogginess from happening in storage.

You can eat the entire morel mushroom once it's washed, stem and all. These little guys should be sliced lengthwise. Morels can be cooked in a variety of ways - sauteed, grilled, fried, or in sauces. However, you must ALWAYS be sure to cook morels since our digestive systems cannot handle them raw.

Whether foraged yourself or store-bought, morels are an unforgettable spring delicacy.