Creamy, earthy, and buttery - what could be better than the simple delight of eating fresh, sautéed mushrooms piled onto crispy toast? Whether you've foraged your own or bought a handful of exotic mushrooms at the market, you'll have the taste of the woods in every luscious bite. (Skip to recipe.)
Spring fever has hit and I'm feeling the excitement of the season bubbling up inside me. Last week we planted three quarters of our garden, then got a long, soaking rain the very next day. Oh, that felt good. Then this weekend we planted the last of it. Now we can just wait for those little green rows to start popping out of the ground.
Mom is 82 years young and I can't keep up with her in the garden. She is a working machine!
Raymond was busy burning up an old woodpile after he finished rototilling the garden.
The first seedlings are up - baby kale seeded on Mother's Day is peeking out in the raised beds.
And some Italian greens we planted last year came back again on their own. I guess they liked it in their bed.
In the rest of the yard, spring colour is showing itself everywhere!
The pear tree is blooming!
Every year our lovage plant is one of the first, vigourous herbs to emerge from the ground. The asparagus is just coming into its own now, too. I can't wait to grill some!
And on top of all this burgeoning spring bounty - the spring morels are here! My mushroom-picking friend, Alex, dropped off a few handfuls of this delicate treat, and my mind immediately imagined a mound of creamy mushrooms on toast - the simplest way to celebrate the season.
Verpas (Verpa Bohemica), also called false morels or early morels, are passed over by many mushroom hunters because they are thought to cause gastrointestinal upset or even believed to be toxic, but they've been picked and eaten in Europe for centuries - they're sold in the markets in Germany and are processed in cans for commercial sales, and they're commonly eaten in Scandinavian countries and Italy. (Just make sure they are fully cooked.) I guess we like to live dangerously, as we've eaten them for the last few years and thoroughly enjoyed them - a true spring delicacy.
This year I just sautéed them simply with a knob of butter and some fresh thyme from the garden (of course, you can use dried thyme, too),
and the special touch of a drop of whiskey poured in near the end. Whiskey and mushrooms go well together, but you could just use water, too. A few spoonfuls of sour cream add a richness and a bit of tang to offset the earthy, luscious mushrooms. Then you just pile them in a glorious heap on top of a slice of good buttered toast and dig in!
What better way to celebrate spring? Mushrooms on Toast.
If you're in a mushroom mood, why not check out these other delicious mushroom feasts?
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Kitchen Frau Notes: You can use any kind and combination of mushrooms, either ones you've foraged in the wild, or bought in the grocery store, for this recipe. They're all lipsmackingly good when enhanced with a simple bath of butter and a touch of creaminess. (The whisper of whiskey, though not necessary for a marvelous mushroom experience, does add its own touch of earthiness to complement the mushrooms' flavour.)
Use a good wholegrain toast. I like rye bread and have found that Schär makes a gluten free Deli Style Sourdough that is fantastic, which I used in these photos.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ medium onion, diced (½ cup)
- 2 large handfuls (2 cups) wild mushrooms, button mushrooms, or a combination
- 1½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- a few grindings of black pepper
- 1 tablespoon whiskey, cognac, or water
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 slices of bread, toasted and buttered
- chopped chives or parsley for garnish (optional)
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat and cook the onion in it until it's translucent. Trim the stems into half-inch pieces if using morels; tear the mushrooms into irregular pieces with your fingers if using button mushrooms; tear or dice them if using other wild mushrooms. Add the mushrooms to the onions along with the thyme, salt, and pepper.
Cook them until they release their moisture, then keep cooking them until most of the moisture is evaporated, but you still see a bit of it pooling around the mushrooms in the pan.
Add the whiskey and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in the sour cream and pile the creamy mushrooms on top of warm slices of buttered toast. Scatter with chopped chives or parsley.
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