The inlaws invited us out to hunt for morels this afternoon. If you are unfamiliar with the morel, as i was just a short year ago, please take a moment to acquaint yourself with delicious delicious treasure of the Midwestern forest.
While morels are easy to recognize (they look like monkey brains, or what I suppose monkey brains look like), they are damn hard to find.
Fortunately, my inlaws had done some preliminary scout work, and we succeeded in finding fourteen of them. If you’ve never had them before, they have a mushroom-savory-umami-funk thing going on that is really hard to describe, but I SWEAR to you is addictively good. So good, in fact, that you will eagerly await this time of year, brave the mud, ticks, snakes (we saw two!) and bramble, in search of the little bastards.
What did we do with them, you wonder? Well, they need to be cooked before you eat them. We cut them in half (morels are always hollow), rinsed and soaked for 10 minutes in cold salty water. Then we caramelized some onions, added some butter, garlic and the morels and sautéed a few minutes longer. Then we added all of that wonderfulness to a prepped pizza dough drizzled with olive oil and za’atar (my newfound favorite middle eastern spice mix) and sprinkled it all with a little parm.
Voila! Morel pizza.
And that, my friends, is how you entertain the kids, get some quality spring outdoor time, and make a kickass dinner!