At once earthy and fresh, this ragout makes for an elegant side dish. We prefer to use dried morels for this recipe because their soaking water can be reduced to a rich broth. This recipe appeared in Coleman Andrews's article "Peas Please" (March/April 1996).
- 12 small dried morels
- 12 pearl onions, peeled
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 8 whole small carrots, peeled and trimmed
- 1⁄2 tsp. sugar
- 1 lb. fresh peas, shelled to yield 1 cup
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Wash morels under running water and trim the root ends from onions. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add morels and onions; cover; remove from heat. After 1 minute, remove onions using a slotted spoon. Replace cover and soak morels until soft, about 10 minutes.
Remove morels with a slotted spoon and rinse well. Pour morel soaking liquid through a sieve lined with a coffee filter and return to saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until liquid is reduced to 1 cup, about 20 minutes.
Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, add onions, sugar, and 1⁄2 cup water, and simmer until liquid evaporates, about 15 minutes. Add morels and morel stock, cover, and cook for 7 minutes. Add peas and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.