There’s a short window for foraging morels in Oklahoma from late-March to late-April, and those who know where to look hold their secret spots near and dear to their hearts. Some families have even been harvesting in the same location for generations. If you’re new to hunting morels, make friends with a forager who knows mycology. It’s important to be 100% certain what you’re harvesting is what you think it is. They say there’s no such thing as both an old and bold forager!
Morels can be identified by their distinct tall cap, creamy color, and hollow interiors. These mushrooms commonly live on the edge of forested areas, usually near ash, aspen, elm, and oak trees. Locals often say it is morel season when the redbud trees start to bloom. You'll often find the first morels of the year when daytime highs reach the 60s and lows stay above 40 degrees.
Once harvested, soak the mushrooms in water for several hours to clean them. Use fresh for this pasta recipe in spring, or dry them completely and store sealed in an airtight jar to enjoy them outside of the harvest season. By deep winter, they are a wonderful treat to rehydrate and cook alongside hearty winter greens and root veggies.