When the morels arrive, I know that spring has arrived as well. Although I choke when I see the price, morels are worth every penny. Here, they are simply sautéed in butter with leeks and parsley and a bit of lemon juice. You can use this delicious concoction many ways—inside an omelet, over pasta, or as a side to beef. Here, it is served on a toasted French bread. It is best shared among friends over a glass of wine. —Waverly
Test Kitchen Notes
When we announced the mushroom contest, we were hoping someone would submit a recipe that really embraced the rich, loamy quality of morels—rather than dousing them in cream or mixing them with other types of mushrooms. Waverly makes the most of these often exorbitantly expensive spring treasures by sautéing them in butter with lemon juice, leeks, and herbs and then topping homemade crostini with the morels and some soft goat cheese. This is simple, fresh cooking at its best. —A&M —The Editors
- Serves 4 to 6
fresh baguette, sliced thin
extra-virgin olive oil
fresh morels, cleaned and sliced lengthwise
fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
thinly sliced leeks, white and pale green parts only
fresh lemon juice
Italian flat-leaf parsley
package of goat cheese, to taste
- MAKE THE TOAST: Preheat oven to 350° F. Place sliced bread on a baking sheet. Brush each piece with olive oil. Bake until bread is lightly toasted, 10 to 15 minutes. Arrange toast on a serving tray.
- SAUTÉ THE MORELS: In a large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add morels and sauté 2 to 3 minutes. Add thyme and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until morels are tender, about 3 minutes.
- SEASON: Add leeks to mushrooms and sauté until soft, 3 to 4 minutes more. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- ASSEMBLE AND SERVE: Pour mixture into a serving bowl and then place the bowl on top of the serving tray with the toast. Place goat cheese on the tray. Let everyone assemble their own crostini: Smear a bit of goat cheese on toast, then top with a spoonful of morels.