We're the Kind of People...

that are willing to risk our lives by jerking a steering wheel sharply to the right, and veer off the highway when we see a sign like this on the side of the road:

After a culinary expedition down at the coast, our trip home was made even better when we spotted a morel vendor selling freshly picked wild coastal mushrooms. We happily gathered what cash we could, including the change from the van's ashtray, and filled our brown paper bag with the measured, treasured fungus.

Ironically, these particular morels, or at least the ones sold in this location about eight years ago, were the first morels Evan ever tried in his life. Like many, he grew up with a fear (really an ignorance) of just how marvelous mushrooms, more specifically, wild mushrooms are. Fortunately, Evan was given the best cooking advice by being told, "Keep it simple. Olive oil or butter, salt and pepper. That's all you need."

These days, we've been known to mix it up a bit, putting these babies on top of pizza, in a risotto, and/or pairing with spring asparagus. But in the end, the most important aspect of enjoying mushrooms is to allow the fungus to keep its integrity intact. What does that mean? Clean properly, don't overcook, don't over-season, and whatever you do, allow their natural flavor to shine through as much as possible. Follow this mantra: Mushrooms are not mushy. If you follow these simple rules, you will find that mushrooms can enhance nearly any dish, especially when handled properly. If you've had your doubts in the past, give 'em a second shot. Pretty soon you'll find that even your mushroom-hating cousin will be touting the marvels of these miraculous dirty caps that grow from the ground.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In hi-school I had friends (imagine) who called me, and not lovingly, Mr. Morals. But see? They spelled it wrong.

- Metolius Mark