Morels are easily in my top 5 favorite mushrooms. And although they are only available fresh for a few weeks a year, I always make sure to stock up on them for plenty of great mushroom recipes. However this is not a true morel dish, as I used Verpa bohemica, also known as early morel which is most popular in Eastern Europe. This recipe for sauteed Verpa bohemica in shallot vermouth sauce is one of my favorite preparations, which really lets the flavor of the mushrooms shine.
I’m a big fan of mushrooms in general and some of my most popular recipes on this blog are mushroom based. Posts like my authentic Carpathian Mushroom Soup, or even a simple mushroom risotto show great ways for mushroom focused dishes. Of course, morels are often prized as some of the tastiest mushrooms, so this simple preparation is easy and delicious.
Preparing Verpa Bohemica Mushrooms For Shallot Vermouth Sauce
Verpa Bohemica are usually picked in April and are easily recognizable for their wrinkly, honeycombed cap. However these mushrooms are not as wrinkly as false morels nor are they as honeycombed as true morels. They are kind of in between. I would recommend, unless you are an experienced mushroom hunter, to take caution when picking these ‘shrooms.
To begin the preparation fill a bowl with lightly salted cold water. Add the verpa bohemica mushrooms and give a shake. After 15 minutes pour out the water and refill the bowl with more cold water. Do this 3 times. After the 3rd time, lay your morels out on some paper towel and pat dry.
Unlike true morels, verpa bohemica caps are attached to the stem just at the top. However, unlike toxic false morels, these ones do have a hollow stem.
You’ll also want to prepare your other ingredients, namely shallots and butter. For this recipe of 200 grams of mushrooms I am using two finely chopped shallots and 3 tbsp of butter.
How To Cook Verpa Bohemica Mushrooms (Early Morels)
In a pan on medium low heat add the butter and shallot. Add a sprinkle of salt and stir around until the shallots are nearly translucent. Do not burn the shallots, if you need to lower the heat you can do so.
When the shallots are soft, turn up the heat and add in your mushrooms. It is okay if the caps fall off, but I love the preparation with the stems and cap together so I tend to be careful with the mushrooms from this point forward. Let the mushrooms cook in the pan at low heat for 5 minutes to release some of their moisture.
Turn the heat up to high and after a minute or so pour in about 100 ml of dry vermouth. Let the pan bubble and reduce. You can lower the heat if you feel it is reducing too fast, otherwise it should take around 10 minutes for the dish to be done. In the last minute or thirty seconds add two teaspoons of fresh lemon juice before finally turning off the heat.
Verpa Bohemica In Shallot Vermouth Sauce
- 200 grams Verpa Bohemica aka early morels. Can also use regular morels for this recipe as well.
- 3 tbsp Butter
- 2 Shallots finely chopped
- 100 ml Dry Vermouth
- Salt to taste
- Fill a bowl with lightly salted cold water. Add the mushrooms and let sit for 15 minutes. Drain the water and repeat 3 times. After the final drain, lay the mushrooms out and pat dry with a paper towel
- In a saucepan on medium low heat add the butter and shallots with a pinch of salt. Stir the pan around until the shallots begin to get translucent.
- Turn the heat up slightly and add the mushrooms. Sweat them so they release their liquid, then turn the heat up a bit more to brown the mushrooms.
- When the heat is high add the vermouth and let the entire pan cook until the liquid is reduced and the cooked mushrooms are resting in a light shallot and vermouth sauce.
- Plate and garnish. Enjoy!