Morel mushrooms are one of the most sought out mushrooms out there; they are particularly elusive and hard to find, similar to truffles in this way, and are thus quite expensive.
They only really grow in the wild too, meaning foragers love them and they can be quite the hot commodity at the farmers markets.
Morel mushrooms can be given as gifts as they are so expensive, wherever this is the case for you or you have foraged them successfully yourself, or spent a pretty penny at the farmers’ market, you may be looking for a specifically good recipe to use these remarkable mushrooms for.
We have found plenty of our favorite recipes that use morel mushrooms. Keep reading to learn more about the morel mushrooms as well as some recipes you may want to consider using them in.
Keep reading to find out!
What Is A Morel Mushroom?
On a point of identification, don’t go picking mushrooms that you aren’t 100% sure you know what they are, morels are particularly elusive and you don’t want to accidentally pick something that could kill you – there are a number of species that look similar but are poisonous.
In terms of identifying them morel mushrooms have a distinctive head that is a super narrow, closed, cap. Morels can vary in size and shape though, going from blonde colored to gray, or narrow and oblong to wide and bulbous in their cap.
The cap itself has a texture that makes it look like a brain, or a honeycomb, there’s just no other way to put it. A real morel will be hollow on the inside, again there are many false morels out there which can kill you so only forage with an expert.
There are many reasons why morels are so expensive. Firstly, they only really grow in the wild and for reasons we won’t get into right now are quite hard to cultivate like most grocery store mushrooms.
Moreover, finding them in the wild is hard, they have a particularly short growing season between March and June which can vary a lot within spring seasons.
As real morels are hollow they also perish in transport a lot which means getting them to the market is hard in itself.
As a result, morels are very expensive, even one meals’ worth can cost over $20, albeit very lucrative if you forage them successfully.
Morel Mushroom Recipes
Here are some simple, and some more complex, recipes to use for morel mushrooms.
Perhaps the most simple and classic way to really enjoy the morel mushroom is on a French omelet.
French omelets can be hard to make themselves but when paired with morels is something exquisite. A french omelet has no browning, is very pale in color, and has very soft curds.
This is a great way to enjoy morels as all you need extra is literally just eggs and maybe some chives for garnish, helping save money. Yet, the egg is a perfect bland base for the morels to shine.
The outcome is really creamy but hit with the umami bomb that is a morel mushroom in a creamy and buttery sauce to dress the omlet itself.
A mushroom risotto is perhaps the most classic way to create a stage for any mushrooms, but with the m o rell it can make a lot of sense.
While morels have that typically umami flavor of mushrooms, they do have a delicate nuttiness and earthiness which can come out well in the classic risotto.
Morels are perhaps best for risotto because of their particularly meaty texture which works well here, rather than a mushroom that shrinks into nothing.
One thing morel mushrooms pair well with is parmesan and in this recipe they are both the main flavors of this dish. Perhaps consider making your own fresh pasta to really get the most from these morels, or just used dried tagliatelle as the recipe suggests.
The outcome is simple but delicious and is a great way to sample the basic flavor of morels in a familiar way, without making a recipe that is super new to us.
One of the great things about morels is that they are quite meaty in their texture, thanks to their textured caps. This means that simply sautéing the morels on their own can be pretty tasty thanks to their texture.
This recipe shows us a really simple way to sample the taste of the morels by simply sautéing them and serving with a simple butter sauce.
This is a great idea if you only have a few but really want to know what their flavor is like so you can plan a recipe for the future.
Morels are a specifically springtime mushroom, which makes them so hard to find due to knowledge of when season comes in, but the asparagus is also a springtime vegetable that comes through during the same time period.
If you are foraging for morels, or just naturally get your hands on them when they are in bloom, you may as well pick up some asparagus as well as enjoy these two food items at their peak, in the spring.
They work well together and you get a lovely savory but earthy flavor from them when combined.
Mushrooms on toast is something that a lot of people really enjoy, even with your bog standard grocery store mushrooms, so why not fix up some morels to go on your toast for a breakfast fit for a king!
Jokes aside, morels work quite well specifically with toast and a little olive oil and butter, these flavors are all overtly savory and umami but are all particularly earthy and a little nutty, all while the morels remain the main show here.
For those who love having mushrooms on their pizza, then why not use morels to create something really special for a birthday or special occasion.
With the right kind of pizza toppings you can really bring out the morels nicely in this recipe, which is essentially just super fancy mushrooms on toast.
The pizza doubt is perfect to soak up the decadent mushrooms and balances the woodsy morel with the salty fontina.
One thing that is a classic accompaniment with morels is game. Game and morels both have a nutty, earthy, farmyard flavor that can accompany each other quite well.
This is another good recipe in the sense that if you don;t have loads of morels this kind of sauce can be a good way to get the most flavor out that you can, and is perfect to accompany venison like this.
The dish is simple but works the best with well sourced ingredients.
Both these titular ingredients are of the woods. If you find you are in a woodsy area and have a lot of elk and morels then why not use them together, from the same environment straight to your plate.
While this recipe can sound really inaccessible and foreign to some, both elk and morel are ironically quite subtle ingredients that when paired together can make something really warming and earthy in a very pleasant way.
This simple stew delivers something really nuanced and complex in its flavor.
There is no better example of a ‘wild mushroom’ than a morel, one which resists cultivation at any risk. In any case, mushroom soup is another way that mushrooms are enjoyed around the world.
Often these soups can be a little too mushroomy in their flavor, but the morel is kind of ideal for a pure mushroom soup as it is more nuanced and delicate in its flavor.
Ideal to pair with something like nutmeg, cinnamon, truffle, or any other deep umami flavoring.
Stroganoff is another classic but interesting way in which mushrooms are commonly used, it is quite variable as you can have it with rice, wild rice is best, or pasta, or even asian noodles.
In any case beef and morel work really well together with a umami flavor combination everyone will love.
Stroganoff does well to provide a canvas for the morels to paint their flavor onto, it’s really enjoyable and warming and good for morel dishes with more choice.
As you can see the morel can be used in place of basically any recipe that requires mushrooms.
It can be worth eating morels on their own first, even if that’s just trying one while cooking one of these recipes, so that you can really understand what their flavor is like before combining it with others.
Morel mushrooms do have a unique flavor that add to the mystique of this fungus.