How to Make Morel Pizza (With Photos of Last Saturday’s Harvest)
Okay, it’s just going to have to be morel month on this blog. I do have new seedlings coming up and spring greens in the garden but I seem to be tunnel visioned with the morels… two-hundred found on Saturday (April 3rd, 2010)! Which apparently is very early… at the SCUMS meeting last night we found out that other area foragers are still waiting for their first morels of the season.
There were no morels at sites within a quarter mile of the spots where we got lucky so we think it is due to a microclimate or perhaps an early mushroom strain. We checked a LOT of spots and only found them in two places (on south-facing banks). Both sites had large tulip trees, running streams with sandy banks, and very little undergrowth.
Click for larger images:
When we got home we cooked up a handful of morels in butter almost immediately (right after we took their photo).
But the real joy was morel pizza later that evening.
Morel Pizza Recipe:
The lack of a red sauce helps showcase the flavor of the morels. Use your favorite crust & local ingredients if possible. I like to save time making mine in my bread machine, this is the recipe I use:
- 1 & 1/2 cups flat beer
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup white whole wheat (or regular whole wheat) flour
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 & 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 & 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1 & 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (OR 2 tsp rapid rise yeast)
- Use your bread machine’s dough instructions
For the toppings (doesn’t have to be exact):
- 1 – 3 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup or more morel mushrooms (either fresh or reconstituted dried ones sliced into rings or bite sized pieces – if reconstituted, strain liquid through coffee filter and reserve for sauce)
- 3 tbsp or so of white wine
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 tbsp (approx.) olive oil
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 – 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 – 3 cups shredded Mozzarella (or other mild soft white) cheese
- Optional shredded Parmesan to taste
- Prepare pizza crust and roll out onto pan. Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Heat butter in skillet on medium-low heat and saute morels until they become softer.
- Turn up heat to medium-high and add white wine (and morel reconstituting liquid if applicable).
- When wine and water heats up (around a minute) add the cream and bring to a simmer while stirring occasionally.
- Spread a thin layer of olive oil over the pizza crust with the back of a spoon and sprinkle the minced garlic and onion on top.
- Spread the mozzarella cheese evenly over the pizza.
- When the morels and cream sauce are thickened remove them from heat and distribute the mushrooms evenly over the surface of the pizza (as though they were pepperoni). Spoon the cream sauce in blotches over the top of the pizza as well.
- (Optional) Sprinkle the top with Parmesan
- Cook in center of oven for 22 – 25 minutes until crust is done and cheese is bubbly and golden brown in patches.