by Heather Harris Brady
Spring has finally sprung in my neck of the woods and it’s time for morels (MORE-relles) and wild leeks. These are a seasonal delicacy, hard to cultivate and they retail for around $44/lb fresh.
This is how they look before cooking. Most people just saute them in butter and call it a day but I thought I’d give you a fancier recipe that will dress up any type of mushroom. With the vol-u-vent shells it makes a pretty appetizer for a dinner party.
Wild Mushrooms Florentine, Serves 6 as an appetizer
- 1/2 lb. mushrooms (these can be a mix or all one variety), cleaned and sliced
- 1/3 c. diced wild leeks (ramps) or shallots
- 1 pint light cream
- 1 T. sherry or madeira
- 1 T. white wine
- 1 T. cornstarch
- 1/2 c. baby leaf spinach
- 1/4 c. fresh grated parmesan
- Seasonings to taste
- 1/2 sheet puff pastry
- Egg wash made with one beaten egg and 1 T. water
Preheat the oven to 400. Mark the puff pastry into twelve even squares. Prick half of them all over with a fork, and cut smaller squares in the middle of the other six.
Lay the pricked squares on a lightly greased cookie sheet and brush the edges with the egg wash.
Top them with the six remaining squares. Make sure there is a clean cut on each side so they will rise evenly.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown. While the shells are baking, saute the leeks in 1 t. butter and 1 T. olive oil.
Add the mushrooms. I’m using a combination of morels and button mushrooms.
Saute for about five minutes. Then add the sherry and the cream.
Combine the cornstarch and white wine, stir until smooth. Stir it into the sauce and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium, until it thickens slightly. Add the spinach leaves.
Place a puff pastry shell on each plate, sprinkle a pinch of parmesan into each shell and fill them with a heaping spoonful of sauce. Serve hot.