Spring Forest Foraged Wild Pasta
1/2 round The Frauxmagerie’s Botanic Camembert
1 cup sliced morels*
3/4 cup sliced wild leeks**
6 slender asparagus spears
2 tbsp walnut pieces
1-2 tbsp fresh thyme
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Pasta or gluten free alternative of your choice
- Trim the chewy stems from the morels. Slice in half lengthwise then into 1/4” pieces.
- Slice white bulb portion of leeks into rounds.
- Remove woody ends of asparagus and cut spears into 1” pieces.
- Rough chop walnuts and thyme.
- Salt pasta cooking water to taste, and bring to a boil.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat – add morels and leeks. Saute a few minutes, then add asparagus.
- Once the asparagus is almost tender and the mushrooms and leeks are slightly golden brown stir in the chopped walnuts and thyme.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve topped generously with slices of Botanic Camembert and some fresh cracked pepper.
Our foraged wild leeks are usually quite garlicky but if yours aren’t, consider adding a clove of minced garlic to the sauté.
Known formally as Allium Trioccum, wild leeks belong to a group of woodland plants referred to as Spring Ephemerals. They grow in patches called “ramps” and possess the sweet taste of onions complimented with a strong garlicky scent. They can be found most abundantly in the Eastern US and Canada in forested regions, and the best time of year to find them varies by region and weather. They can be found during a mild spring as early as March, however you’d typically have more luck foraging in early to mid spring. Ontario’s official flower, the Trillium, can often be found growing in the same areas as the ramps, as they thrive in shady and damp conditions with well-drained, acidic and calcium rich soil.
Known formally as Morchella Esculenta, wild morels can be found on the edges of forested areas and some species of morel actually thrive in woodlands recently burnt by forest fires. They typically turn up near ash, aspen, elm and oak trees early in the Spring and most often on south-facing slopes. Morels are best known for their nutty and earthy flavours, and unique texture differing from other mushrooms.
Enjoying such fresh foods, coupled with the pride of literally hand-picking the ingredients yourself lends to a culinary experience you won’t soon forget – happy foraging!