That said, it's wild foraging that really gets me pumped. It feels so primitive and exploratory. As Hubs put it the other day, when he was out in our forest hunting for morels, it's also so, so sensory. You really start looking at everything, slowly, lingeringly. You get quieter, step more lightly. You're not just on a walk in the woods, you're on the hunt, for food. The dynamic changes. You don't just see the forest-you see the trees, the moss, the dried leaves, the ferns, the woodpeckers, the snakes, everything!
As I mentioned last week, our friends recently shared some of their foraged morels with us. Such. Good. Friends. We combined some of their bounty with a bit we discovered ourselves in our forest (Hubs is turning into quite the forager, and he so looks the part, with his suspenders and his walking stick and his ginger-streaked beard, like a Scottish huntsman!). A frittata seemed like an ideal vessel for showcasing the mushrooms earthy, umami qualities. Paired with sweet/unctuous caramelized onions and topped with fresh mozzarella, this dish did the morels right.
Morel, Caramelized Onion & Mozzarella Frittata
-2 pieces of bacon
-1/2 large onion, diced
-1 cup beef stock
-1/2 teaspoon sugar
-1 Tablespoon butter
-A handful of chopped morels
-1/4 cup milk
-Several grinds black pepper
-Pinch of salt
-2-3 ounces fresh mozzarella
1) Cook the bacon over medium heat in an oven-safe 12-inch skillet until lightly crispy. Remove the bacon, and set aside.
2) Add the diced onions to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes.
3) Add the stock and the sugar. Cook for about 25-30 minutes, until the onions are caramelized and there is no more liquid in the pan. Remove the onions from the pan, and set aside.
4) Add the butter to the pan, and when melted, add the morels. Cook for about 5 minutes, then remove the morels from the pan and set aside.
5) Turn the pan's heat down to low.
6) Whisk the eggs with the milk, salt, and pepper. Add the egg mixture to the pan, and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
7) Meanwhile, cut or tear the bacon into bite-sized pieces.
8) Distribute the bacon, morels, onion, and mozzarella across the top of the eggs.
9) Remove the pan from the stovetop, and place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes until the eggs are set and the cheese begins to melt.
10) Remove from the oven, and let it sit for a few minutes.
11) Invert the frittata from the pan onto a platter, then invert it onto another platter so that it is right-side up again.
12) Cut with a pizza wheel, and serve.
Have you cooked with morels, or other foraged mushrooms? What did you make? The way I see it, the more recipes for foraged mushrooms I can find, the better! I should mention here that mushrooms found in the wild can be tasty and/or toxic. ONLY eat those mushrooms you have definitely identified to be safe. When in doubt, don't eat it. Take a seasoned forager with you until you know exactly what you're looking for.