I love going to farmers markets when cash isn’t too tight. I went to the Trout Lake Farmers Market last week and stumbled across a little bag of morel mushrooms for $12. $12?! Is it worth it? I found out later, but first the rest of the story…
Everything you need to know about local farmers markets is on the Vancouver Farmers Markets website. The farmers market season is really gearing up and I recommend you check out a market in your area if you want to eat more (truly) local produce and products. Even if you don’t buy much, a trip to a market can be inspiring!
The Trout Lake market runs from 9am-2pm every Saturday and is quite busy. You’ll have to park a few blocks away and walk. Bring a bag!
I love Taves Family Farms. The SWEETEST bell peppers you’ve ever eaten! They let the peppers ripen on the plant until they’re at their sweetest. I just drizzle a bit of olive oil and sea salt on them and roast them in the oven. So easy and did I mention sweeeeeeeeet?! You’ll be amazed at how peppers are supposed to taste!
I can’t wait for heirloom tomato season to really get started. It’s REALLY hard to go back to industrial, supermarket tomatoes after trying these heirloom beauties.
Not quite the season for those less well-known apple varieties yet…
The purebread stall is always busy. For good reason!
I wasn’t feeling it at the time, but I think I’ll go back and try their Whistler Disfunction Ale bread 🙂
Nothing beats beats!
Mushrooms! But not the wild kind here…getting close…
This stall was giving away plenty of sausage samples. Any other day I’d be all over this. Foodies are so moody and finicky, aren’t they?
I tried a bit. Flavour was good but he cooks the samples to death. Very dry. I guess better than risking the wrath of the health department.
These guys are a fixture at these markets. Their cheese is…ok.
This is Salt Spring Island Cheese Company with their great goat cheese samples. I like their Blue Juliette. I was actually looking for The Farm House Natural Cheeses but they were actually scheduled for the following week. I had their Rustica (semi-soft washed rind cheese) and was blown away at the mild yet full, multi-layered flavour…the true taste of terroir in a cheese! Next time!
This stall specializes in foraged edibles. The guy running the stall looks like he’s been doing it for decades. Finally the world caught up to him and people are now appreciating the flavour and beauty of foraged foods (see Noma)!
These are the garlic sprouts. I tried a bit and it was amazing. Spicy, zingy, raw garlicky flavour. Would work great in a steak tartare or anything where you want to use a microgreen that has a spicy hit of garlic.
Sprouted kale baby kale. I didn’t try it.
Local kombu? Nice.
During my reverse sweep of the market, I started seeing all these things I wanted to actually buy. $12 for a bag of morels??? I’ve seen morels on fancy menus before but never actually tried them. I was intrigued and excited so I bought a bag!
I had to get a nice olive mix too.
This stall had tourtières! I’ve never tried them before!
Cash flew out of my hands.
I’ll get this next time. Best to leave the market quickly, lest I be tempted further…
Back at Home
This olive mix also contained cornichons, pearl onions AND caperberries. Caperberries are like little delicious eggplanty-like earrings!
So this is what $12 of morels looks like. I tried to clean them a bit but they were VERY delicate. I ended up brushing off a couple tablespoons worth of actual mushroom flesh… (^_^)’
I basically used Michael Ruhlman’s recipe as a guide. I didn’t have white wine, so I added a splash of rye IPA beer. 😉 And nixed the lemon. I started with butter and shallots, added the morels…
…then added cream and let it reduce for 5 minutes. You must fully cook morels before eating them!
Finish with salt and pepper and you have a shrunken pile of $12 morels! Yay!
“uggghhh, uhhh, fuuuuuuck…”
Ohhhh man, these were amazing! It’s like the lippy part of an oyster, except the whole mushroom is like that. And the insides are hollow, so it gives a really special texture when you’re chewing them. Really woodsy, mushroomy flavour. But the texture is at least half the fun. It felt so decadent to eat $12 worth of morels all by myself! You don’t get this big of a serving in a restaurant, that’s for sure! I ate this with several slices of purebread’s Whistler Wheat, lightly toasted. I think my exact words were, “uggghhh, uhhh, fuuuuuuck…” It’s that good.
I tried this recipe a few days later with regular white button mushrooms…NO COMPARISON. I might cook morels more simply next time, to taste the true morel flavour without drowning it in butter and cream 😉
I paired the pie with what I had on-hand, Upright Brewing’s Oyster Stout. I could detect a big briny-ness which went ok with the pie…maybe not the best match. I’m thinking a more straight-ahead stout or porter would be better…or an English-style brown ale?
The crust was very soft and moist, not flaky at all. But this was my first tortière, so maybe the crust is supposed to be like that? The filling was on the mild side rather than robust or salty. Wicca tried some and got notes of nutmeg. She actually liked it more than me, and she doesn’t really like savoury pies. Eating this just made me long for salteñas from Rocio’s Salteñas & Pastries. I ended up adding ketchup to make it a bit more exciting.
So for next time, morels YES!, tortières maybe…