Morels With Ramps, Nettles And Lemon
This is what may tastes like in the Ottawa river valley! Serves 2 as a starter
- Good olive oil to coat pan (don't cheap out here!)
- 15 Fresh morels
- 5 Ramps finely sliced, tops roughly chopped
- 1 cup fresh nettle leaves
- 1 lemon/zest
- fleur de sel to taste
- fresh ground pepper to taste
- good chunk of bread (baguette, ciabatta, Belgium or crispy sourdough)
- Clean your Morels!!! Morel pores are perfect homes for many interesting small critters! If morels are big slice so they are all the same size. Don't forget to inspect the insides of the mushrooms for friends as well!
- Zest and juice only half the lemon. Remove any seeds from juice and add zest to juice. Set aside.
- Prep your ramps. Clean them. Remove the bulbs from the leafy tops, slice the bulbs fairly thin and rough chop the tops. keep bulbs and tops separate.
- Prep your nettles. Use gloves to remove the nettle leaves from plant. Select young new plants with tender leaves. Wash as you would regular lettuce and dry. Combine with ramp tops.
- You should now have one bowl of cleaned morels, one bowl of cleaned nettles/ramp tops, one bowl of lemon juice/zest, one bowl of sliced ramps, fleur de sel, a pepper mill and good olive oil.
- Get a large frying pan hot on stove. When hot add olive oil to coat pan. Before oil starts smoking add sliced ramps. Cook for 10 secs, to totally infuse the oil with rampy goodness. Add morels and nettle/ramp mix.
- Leave on high heat so that any liquid that comes out of the mushrooms will evaporate as its being cooked. Cook until morels have shrunk by almost half and all the liquid in the pan is absorbed back into the morels about 3-4 minutes.
- Add lemon and remove from heat. Season with fleur de sel and a fresh pepper. Serve immediately with crusty bread.
Note: I sometimes add fresh red chili with the ramps at the beginning for a little extra kick!