The Best Way To Cook Morels - Morels Mushroom On Toast Recipe | T

Dark, honeycombed morels that pop up on forest floors after early spring rains are some of the finest mushrooms around.

They may be a pain to clean–they're hollow and loofah-like–but their meaty texture and delicate woodsy flavor make it absolutely worth the effort. And we've come up with a perfect simple recipe that lets them shine.

After you've tracked some down, either at specialty shops or farmers' markets right now, or ordered online, our main piece of advice is: Don't mess about with them too much!

Morels are best when prepared very simply: flavored with shallots that have been softened in butter, fresh thyme leaves and lemon zest, then piled on garlic-rubbed toast (see the recipe). A little crème fraîche, which cooks out in the pan and practically disappears, hugs all the flavors together without weighing them down.

Now, our secret weapon: parsley. Yes, parsley. Don't underestimate the stuff–dressed with lemon juice, chile flakes and olive oil, the leaves brighten and intensify the flavors of the mushrooms.

The dish is great to have on-hand with a round of cocktails or a chilled bottle of Chenin Blanc, while the mushrooms are still warm and the bread is crisp. But the truth is, morels on toast are so good, you could turn them into a simple spring-y dinner.