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2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon cognac

1 tablespoon white wine or champagne vinegar

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup crème fraÎche

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 pound wild mushrooms

2 teaspoons fresh thyme, leaves

2 teaspoons chervil or chives

3 cloves, garlic, minced

12 slices French bread

Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper



Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.


Sauté the shallot pieces in butter until they are wilted and on the verge of browning.  Add the cognac and cook another 30 seconds.  Off the heat, stir in the vinegar and lemon juice.  Fold in the crème fraÎche and season with salt and pepper.


Trim the stems from the mushrooms.  If gritty, submerge them briefly in cold water.  Drain and halve.  Cut into thin strips.  Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, herbs and garlic pieces in a casserole.  Bake, uncovered for 20 minutes.


Remove from the oven, stir in  the shallot  mixture and return to the oven for 3-4 minutes.  Out of the oven, season to taste with salt and pepper.


Brush the bread slices with the remaining olive oil.  Grill or broil to toast.  Top with the morel mixture.  Serve this as an hors d'oeuvre, as a starter course or with a salad for lunch.


Adapted from Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Vegetable Cookbook