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:

Photo Caption: Our first morel find on 4/3/2010! (One person in our group found a single morel on 3/30/2010). Location: Upstate SC. My camera was out of the correct mode and I didn't notice - sorry for the blurry bits.

Photo Caption: This is a sample of the morels we found on Saturday. There are 2 different species, Morchella esculenta and M. deliciosa.

Photo Caption: We found the M. esculenta species dangling over streams right on the sunniest parts of the bank.

Photo Caption: Fresh sweetgum balls don't look much like morels, but once they start to age and turn gray they are very distracting. This M. deliciosa (tulip morel) was common in the leaf litter even as much as 60' away from the stream.

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.

Photo Caption: First we removed the grit from the mushrooms using a basting brush, then we sliced them into attractive rings.

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
  1. Prepare pizza crust and roll out onto pan. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Heat butter in skillet on medium-low heat and saute morels until they become softer.
  3. Turn up heat to medium-high and add white wine (and morel reconstituting liquid if applicable).
  4. When wine and water heats up (around a minute) add the cream and bring to a simmer while stirring occasionally.
  5. 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.
  6. Spread the mozzarella cheese evenly over the pizza.
  7. 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.
  8. (Optional) Sprinkle the top with Parmesan
  9. Cook in center of oven for 22 – 25 minutes until crust is done and cheese is bubbly and golden brown in patches.

Photo Caption: Morels cooking in the wine and cream sauce prior to being added to the pizza.

Photo Caption: We were so excited about eating this pizza that I forgot to photograph it before we sliced it up! Fantastic!

Eliza Lord

I'm a Greenville, SC native (the Appalachian foothills) who wears the hats of Greenville Master Gardener & Upstate Master Naturalist. I love to write about food and sustainability.

13 thoughts on “How to Make Morel Pizza (With Photos of Last Saturday’s Harvest)”

  1. Pingback: How to Find Edible Morel Mushrooms (With Recipes) | Appalachian Feet

  2. Liza - April 6, 2010 5:19 pm

    That looks delicious!
    .-= Liza´s last blog ..[Albuquerque Week!] Stupid Human Trick: Some Dumbass Sets Albuquerque On Fire =-.

    Reply
    1. Sustainahillbilly
      Twitter: appalachianfeet
      - April 7, 2010 8:32 pm

      Thanks!
      .-= Sustainahillbilly´s last blog ..How to Grow Peas as Quick Harvest Greens (and Use Up Old Seed Packets) =-.

      Reply
  3. Curbstone Valley Farm - April 6, 2010 7:47 pm

    Wow…wow…wow! I actually did do a walk around our property this weekend, bent over like a question mark, sure that I’d find SOME hint of a morel. Nothing. I know it’s the right season, as others here have reported finding some near here, but our property seems to be holding back. Oh well, I’ll keep my eyes peeled, and if we find some…it’s pizza for dinner!
    .-= Curbstone Valley Farm´s last blog ..Oh Deer, Oh Deer =-.

    Reply
    1. Sustainahillbilly
      Twitter: appalachianfeet
      - April 7, 2010 8:37 pm

      I haven’t found any more since then but I’m feeling optimistic. Apparently the best is yet to come (according to the seasoned foragers from my area).
      .-= Sustainahillbilly´s last blog ..How to Grow Peas as Quick Harvest Greens (and Use Up Old Seed Packets) =-.

      Reply
  4. Sandra - April 6, 2010 9:36 pm

    Looks like a great find; it’s too early in the season for us but the ramps are here. Those are good too. The pizza looks wonderful; did it taste as great as it looks?

    Reply
    1. Sustainahillbilly
      Twitter: appalachianfeet
      - April 7, 2010 8:45 pm

      I haven’t foraged for ramps yet but I’m planning to get to that one eventually. I may just grow them in the garden some year. The pizza was incredible!!! My mom actually made the crust… she bakes on a regular basis now. Without burning it — you might not recognize her anymore.
      .-= Sustainahillbilly´s last blog ..How to Grow Peas as Quick Harvest Greens (and Use Up Old Seed Packets) =-.

      Reply
  5. Lisa - April 6, 2010 11:19 pm

    I love the Latin names — succulent and delicious!
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Completely Enchanting! =-.

    Reply
    1. Sustainahillbilly
      Twitter: appalachianfeet
      - April 7, 2010 8:46 pm

      Completely accurate… go nomenclature botanists!
      .-= Sustainahillbilly´s last blog ..How to Grow Peas as Quick Harvest Greens (and Use Up Old Seed Packets) =-.

      Reply
  6. Anna - April 7, 2010 9:06 am

    I am so jealous! You are a master morel hunter!

    Reply
    1. Sustainahillbilly
      Twitter: appalachianfeet
      - April 7, 2010 8:47 pm

      Thanks! I’m actually really new at it but I’ve been researching like a crazy person. I also have awesome experienced friends to interrogate. 😉
      .-= Sustainahillbilly´s last blog ..How to Grow Peas as Quick Harvest Greens (and Use Up Old Seed Packets) =-.

      Reply
  7. Jamie - April 7, 2010 9:34 am

    I grew up in IL, but now live in SC. My husband’s family (who live in Western IL) introduced me to mushroom hunting when we were dating. It is a most fun thing to do! Then we take all of our morel loot back to the house and fry them up. YUM!

    Reply
    1. Sustainahillbilly
      Twitter: appalachianfeet
      - April 7, 2010 8:55 pm

      I’ve been doing my mushroom hunting with my boyfriend. Hiking while treasure hunting and then amazing dinner… it’s perfect!
      .-= Sustainahillbilly´s last blog ..How to Grow Peas as Quick Harvest Greens (and Use Up Old Seed Packets) =-.

      Reply

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