Here's a great mushroom sandwich recipe I made for an online competition. It's basically a grilled cheese with morel mushrooms and a mayonnaise made from ramp leaves.
It was spring, so I knew I wanted to incorporate what was growing. I'd been hunting dry land fish mushrooms, and it was also ramp season.
After a couple trials, I came up with a sandwich that was simpler that many of the previous year's winners, but relied on ingredients of higher quality. The heart of it is a pile of sauteed morels, accented with a creamy sauce made from ramp leaves.
The grilled cheese portion is where I got to give a nod to Wisconsin. Here I use brick-an aromatic, washed rind cheese that has a cult following in the Badger State. The rye bread I chose since morels have a natural affinity for it, for some reason they just really taste good together.
In the end I didn't win, but that's only because the judges must not have actually tasted it. They were supposed to cook and test every sandwich, but I doubt they had fresh morels and ramps to test it out.
Using other mushrooms
You can make a good mushroom grilled cheese sandwich from other varieties of cultivated and wild mushrooms. Some of the best are large mushrooms with big caps, such as shaggy parasols or deer mushrooms.
If you have large caps, grilled mushrooms can be nice in place of the sauteed ones I use here.
Spring Mushroom Sandwich with Wild Garlic Aioli
- Large cast Iron pan or griddle you can also use a toaster oven
- 2 slices caraway rye bread sliced ½ inch
- 1.5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1.5 ounces fresh whole morel mushrooms rinsed, cleaned, and inspected for debris on the inside.
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon light olive oil or grapeseed oil, plus a little extra as needed.
- 1.5 ounces brick cheese or your favorite melting cheese for sandwiches, sliced.
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ramp bulbs optional
Wild Garlic Aioli
- 1 oz Fresh wild garlic or ramp leaves about 10 large (*See note)
- Kosher salt to taste
- 1 cup mayonnaise Such as Hellman's
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Wild Garlic Aioli
- Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the wild garlic leaves and cook for 5 seconds, until just wilted.
- Refresh the ramp leaves in an ice bath to preserve their color. Squeeze the leaves dry in a towel, then mince finely.
- Puree the leaves in a highspeed blender or a food processor with the mayonnaise.
- Pass the sauce through the chinois or mesh strainer to remove any stringy leaf particles and give it a velvety texture (optional). Stir in the lemon juice, season to taste with salt until it tastes good to you and reserve until needed.
- Spread each slice of bread on one side with soft, unsalted butter. Place the bread butter side down in the cast iron pan or a grill pan. Arrange the cheese slices on the bread and cook on low-medium heat, until the bread is nicely toasted and the cheese is melting.
- In a separate pan, heat the lard or grapeseed or light olive oil until lightly smoking, add the morels or other mushroms and cook over medium high heat until brown and caramelized, about 4-5 minutes.
- Add a teaspoon of oil to the pan, then add the ramp bulbs if using. When the morels are totally cooked, season with salt and pepper. Allow the morels to drain on a paper towel briefly to shed excess oil if needed.
- Place the morels on top of the cheese on one slice of bread, top each with some of the ramps from the pan, then add a tablespoon of the ramp leaf aioli. Place the other slice of bread on top of the slice with the morels and sauce. Press the sandwich lightly to make it stick together.