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Sautéed Morels with Goat Cheese,
Spinach, and Beet Vinaigrette



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Morel Mushrooms Among Violets, Morchella Esculenta, Central USA
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Sautéed Morels with Goat Cheese,
Spinach, and Beet Vinaigrette

Nora Pouillon
Great Women Chefs:
Marvelous Meals and Innovative Recipes
from the Stars of American Cuisine

by Julie Stillman, 1996, Turner Publishing, Inc.


“Morels are honeycombed, cone-shaped mushrooms that belong to the
same family as the truffle. Their earthy and nutty flavor is a spring-
time delicacy. Paired with spinach and a crimson vinaigrette, these
mushrooms make a beautiful first course.”

Serve 4

4 large shallots, peeled
1 teaspoon olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 small beets (about 4 ounces each),
greens trimmed
1/8 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 pound morel mushrooms,
washed and dried
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced garlic
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons sherry, white wine,
or balsamic vinegar

6 ounces spinach, washed, stemmed, and dried
4 ounces goat cheese, cut in 1/4-inch cubes

To make vinaigrette:  Preheat oven to 400° F. Place shallots in a small nonreactive baking dish. Dress with olive oil and season with salt and
pepper to taste. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 - 40 minutes
or until soft.
In a small saucepan steam or boil beets for 15 – 20 minutes. Peel the
beets while still warm and put them in a blender with the roasted shallots,
caraway seeds, salt, pepper, vinegar, and just enough water to cover the
blades (about 1/2 cup).
Purée, and with the machine running, add canola oil in a thin stream,
blending until emulsified. Add an additional 1/4 cup water, if necessary,
to thin the vinaigrette to the consistency of heavy cream..
To make morels:
  Wash mushrooms quickly, immersing them in cold
water and draining them on kitchen or paper towels. Do not let them
become waterlogged. Set aside.
In a medium-size sauté pan, heat olive oil. Add shallots and garlic and
sauté for 2 - 3 minutes. Lower the heat, add the morels, and continue sautéing, stirring from time to time, until the morels are softened, about
3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add vinegar, raise the
heat and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 more
minutes. Stir in spinach and sauté briefly, just until wilted. Remove
from the heat.
To assemble:
  Divide the beet vinaigrette among 4 luncheon-size plates. Arrange the morel mixture on top of the vinaigrette. Garnish each plate
with several goat cheese cubes and serve warm.

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