Grilled Morel and Fontina Toasts

Lightly charred and generously buttered, spring’s favorite mushroom shines in this simple recipe.

  • Serves

    Makes 2 toasts

  • Cook

    30 minutes


By Fatima Khawaja

Updated on May 30, 2024

Finding morels at the farmers market is like winning the lottery. One morning you’ll spot them, and the next they’re gone. Some years they don’t make an appearance at all, while others they’re around for weeks. That’s because these fussy, rare mushrooms, which are prized for their smoky earthiness, can’t be cultivated: They’re picked in forests between April and July and sprout only under certain climatic conditions. The good news is, you can substitute any edible mushroom in recipes that call for morels. 

When shopping for wild mushrooms, look for ones that are dry and unbruised. Darker morels have more flavor than lighter ones. Don’t be daunted by the price per pound; mushrooms are mostly air, so a few ounces will go far. To prevent molding, store them in a brown paper bag in the fridge (the crisper drawer with the humidity turned off is best), and plan to eat them within a couple of days, lest they get slimy or shriveled. If the stems are too chewy for your taste (shiitake stems are notoriously tough), freeze them along with any trimmings and add them to your next batch of beef or vegetable stock.

When I'm cooking for my family, I love to keep things simple. These days, that means plenty of crusty bread (grilled on my little superintendent-approved electric grill) topped with cheese and something quick-cooked. A few farmers market morels, placed briefly over the hot grates, make this simple dish into something extra-special. If you don’t have a grill, use the broiler or a grill pan to toast the bread; meanwhile, fry the mushrooms directly in the chive-shallot butter until just tender.


  • ¼ cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp. salted butter, softened, divided
  • 1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped (2 tsp.)
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped (3 Tbsp.)
  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped chives
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 oz. whole fresh morels (1½ cups lightly packed)
  • 2 thick country bread slices
  • 2 oz. thinly sliced fontina cheese
  • Flaky sea salt


Step 1

Heat a charcoal grill or set a gas grill to medium-high. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of the oil and the sherry vinegar. Set aside.

Step 2

In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. When the foam subsides, add the garlic and shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3–4 minutes. Add the chives and cook for about 1 minute more. Season to taste with black pepper and remove from the heat.

Step 3

Thread the morels onto skewers. When the grill is preheated, use tongs and a wad of oiled paper towels to grease the grates. Add the morels and grill, turning occasionally, until slightly charred and just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, remove the skewers, then coarsely chop the mushrooms. Add them to the butter mixture and toss to coat.

Step 4

Drizzle the remaining oil over both sides of the bread slices, then grill, turning once, until there are grill marks on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Turn off the heat. Top the slices evenly with the fontina, cover, and grill until the cheese is melted, 30–60 seconds more. Transfer the toasts to a plate, top with the buttered morels, and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Season to taste with flaky salt and serve hot.

Continue to Next Story

Want more SAVEUR?

Get our favorite recipes, stories, and more delivered to your inbox.