Posts Tagged ‘morels’

Egg Noodles with Morels

Monday, April 5th, 2010

morelsMushrooms are the perfect centerpiece of Meatless Monday meals — particularly the meaty and flavorful fresh mushrooms now available at local farmers markets. And did you know that mushrooms are the only vegetable that provides Vitamin D? They also contain potassium, antioxidants and even protein. Morels, available locally for a very limited period in the spring, have an intense earthy flavor that is every bit as satisfying as a juicy steak — and that’s a good thing, as morels are about as pricey as a steak. Here in the DC area, they go for $20 a pint at the Mushroom Stand (Penn Quarter, Dupont Circle, Arlington farmers markets). I won’t depress my neighbors by mentioning how much I paid for them in Oregon. Regardless, they are worth the once- or twice-a-year splurge and make for an easy weeknight meal as they benefit from a very simple preparation with nothing more than butter, sea salt and a splash of wine. We enjoyed this with a salad of fresh herbs and Loudoun lettuce mix and a sourdough bread from the Penn Quarter farmers market.

To prep the morels, I swish them gently in a bowl of cold water before cutting them in half, length-wise, and rinsing gently under running water to remove any dirt or insects that may be hidden inside. Pat them dry and place on paper towels to air dry the rest of the way before cooking — cooking wet mushrooms can cause slimy or mushy results.

So far my son is about 50/50 on whether he’s in the mood to eat mushrooms, but an extra dose of grated cheese helps smooth the way. You can also make this with whatever kind of mushroom you have on hand when morels aren’t available — honey mushrooms are another favorite of ours.

Recipe: Egg Noodles with Morels

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint morels, cleaned and halved (see above)
  • 8 ounces wide egg noodles
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
  • grated parmesan cheese, optional

Instructions: Cook egg noodles according to package instructions. While the noodles cook, melt one tablespoon of the butter in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat. Cook the morels in a single layer until edges begin to brown, about 8-10 minutes. Turn them only once while cooking. When browned, sprinkle with a generous pinch of sea salt, add remaining three tablespoons of butter and the wine and let cook a minute more. Remove from heat. Drain egg noodles and toss with the parsley. Gently fold in the morels and sauce. Garnish with parmesan cheese, if desired, and enjoy! Makes 4 servings.

The FoodieTots family participates in Meatless Mondays, cutting out meat one day a week for our health and for the environment. (When we do eat meat, we choose local and grassfed whenever possible.) Visit the Meatless Monday pledge page to learn more and sign up for weekly tips and recipes you can use to go meatless, too!

Opening Day at Penn Quarter FreshFarm Market

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Spring doesn’t truly arrive until the seasonal farmers markets open, and today the first to open in the DC area was FreshFarm’s Penn Quarter Market. There was a steady stream of people arriving even as the market opened, and the customary eager lines at Quail Creek Breads. Of course, a gorgeous 70+ degree day in Washington doesn’t hurt.

And, while asparagus (and ramps?) are still a few weeks away, morels were here!

Springfield Farms was selling lamb for Easter, while Cibola Farms and Red Apron were back to round out the meat options. I picked up my Easter ricotta from Blue Ridge Dairy. Copper Pot was there with his handmade pastas, sauces and jams. And Black Rock and Toigo Orchards still have some apples and preserved products from last fall.

Also this year, a new collaboration between FreshFarm and Zola Chef Bryan Moscatello: Farmers in Residence Program. Once a month, Bryan will host a farmer from the Penn Quarter market at Zola Wine and Food Kitchen for a 3pm chat, then lead participants back to a personalized market tour. Up first is Mary Ellen Taylor of Endless Summer Harvest (producer of the famed Loudoun Lettuce mix and the DC area’s finest arugula), next Thursday, April 8. View the FreshFarm event calendar for future dates.

Penn Quarter Farmers Market
Thursdays, 3-7.00pm
Chef Demos weekly at 4.00pm
8th Street NW btwn D & E, near Archives Metro

April Showers Bring Spring Market Openings

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

It’s been a rainy spring thus far in the Washington area, and I keep reminding myself that April showers bring May strawberries, June blueberries, and so on. Cherry blossoms have bloomed, and bringing even more reason for cheer, April marks the first re-openings of our area’s seasonal farmers markets.

penn quarter dc farmers market

Last week saw the opening of DC Fresh Farm’s Foggy Bottom (Wednesday) and Penn Quarter (Thursday) markets, and this coming Saturday is the official re-opening of my neighborhood market, the Del Ray Farmers Market in Alexandria. Judging from the lines at Smith Meadows’ stand lately at our “secret” winter market, Saturday is sure to be busy so get there early for the best selection. Mr. Biggs has already been back with greenhouse-grown tomatoes that will help tide you over till summer. And for other markets in the area, Fairfax County markets open the first week in May and the Alexandria Upper King Street market doesn’t open until June. See the end of this post for a complete list of opening dates.

morels mushrooms

Opening Day Find – Morels! Last Thursday at Penn Quarter’s grand opening, I snagged some of the first morels of the season from the Mushroom Lady; they will be available in greater quantities in the next few weeks. There were plenty of fresh greens to be had, but no signs of asparagus quite yet. Last year’s apples and pears are on their last legs, but fresh strawberries are still a few weeks away.

farmers market dc

As the market season kicks into gear, watch for new features here at FoodieTots, particularly for those of you in the Northern VA/DC area. In an effort to make room for new resources on the sidebar, I’ve moved and expanded my “Eat Local, Elsewhere” blog list to the “Locavore Links” tab up above. Check it out and let me know of other locavore bloggers I should be following. Thanks as always for reading, and stay dry out there!

Read on for the complete Northern Virginia Farmers Market 2009 Schedule…

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At Market: VA 5.31 & NY 6.07, morels and goat cheese

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

I got thrown off my food blogging game by our two-day power outage followed by a weekend trip to NY. But we are back and slowly refilling the fridge, so it’s time to catch up!

I wrote previously about our June 1 Del Ray (VA) Farmers Market dinner for Week One of One Local Summer. The star of that dinner was the fresh WV morels. We were a little late to market that week, and as I got in line behind a couple at the Mushroom Lady’s stand, I noticed one last box of morels labeled “Sale! $15.” I waited anxiously as the couple in front of me debated which to pick, and remarked “$15??” when looking at the morels, clearly unaware that those same morels had been $20 the week before. After what seemed like an eternity, they settled on something else and I snatched up the box. Mushroom Lady kindly topped off my pint with a few last stray morels from the box. Per her instructions, I simply cleaned them and sauteed them in butter. They were without a doubt the most intensely flavored mushrooms I have ever eaten. The deep, earthy flavor is hard to describe … suffice it to say that I will not hold off until the end of morel season next spring to pick them up again!

The following weekend we checked out the Port Washington Farmers Market, on Long Island, NY. According to the Local Harvest listing, it is the only all organic market in NY. It was not, however, all local. There was a booth selling Croatian olive oil, and a failure to read the label carefully led to us later opening our “all local” lunch spread and discovering the goat cheese was in fact from Massachusetts. I believe the market was just getting going for the season though, as most of the NY seasonal markets don’t open till June. There was a great Nordic organic bread booth, where we got wonderful cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and the one true farmer had a basket full of beautiful garlic scapes. Here she’s trying to convince a hesitant customer to give them a try.