Forage Picnic at Mt. View Orchards
Video by Jeremiah Flores
Filmed at Mt. View Orchards
Music by Kyle Haden Chaney
To celebrate spring in the Pacific Northwest, we gathered some friends for an afternoon of harvesting morel mushrooms and asparagus between the blossoming rows of peach, pear and apple trees at Mt. View Orchards. It was a glorious day in the orchard, complete with an impossibly blue sky framing a picture perfect view of Mt. Hood towering over the flowering fruit trees.
Armed with baskets and pocket knives, we fanned out in the orchard in search of crinkly capped morels and crisp green stalks of asparagus. Returning with baskets overflowing with riches, we built a little fire and cooked a spring picnic over the flames.
We spread out our Pendelton blanket, opened a bottle of rose and feasted on a savory Dutch baby with morels and green garlic, grilled asparagus and fiddlehead ferns with nettle aioli, and a sprightly spring salad.
Sated, we sat back to enjoy the sun on our faces and the comfort of time spent among friends.
A very special thank you to our friend Trina at Mt. View Orchards for hosting us on her beautiful and bountiful property. We encourage you to visit the little paradise she’s created in Parkdale, OR, where you can stop by to pick up ripe fruits of the season or pull up a seat in her new Grateful Vineyards Tasting Room for pizza, wine and cider from the property served alongside epic views of Mt. Hood.
Photos by Eva Kosmas Flores
Dutch Oven Dutch Baby with Morel Mushrooms and Green Garlic
1 cup whole milk
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for sprinkling
2 T each chopped chives and parsley
1 cup all purpose flour
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch each of freshly grated nutmeg and black pepper
⅓ cup ghee or clarified butter, plus more for cooking mushrooms
2 cups morel mushrooms, cleaned
½ cup sliced green garlic
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
Sea salt and flaky finishing salt
Whisk eggs in a medium bowl, then add milk, cheese and herbs. Combine together flour, salt, nutmeg and pepper, then whisk vigorously into wet ingredients until just combined. Can be prepared up to one day in advance and held in a refrigerator or cooler.
COOKING OVER THE FIRE
Preheat a 10” cast iron skillet over the coals.
Heat ghee in skillet until shimmering, then add morel mushrooms, stirring occasionally until beginning to soften. Add green garlic, thyme and salt to taste. Sauté until green garlic is tender and mushrooms are cooked through and beginning to crisp and caramelize a bit on the edges.
Prepare Dutch baby:
Preheat 10” Dutch oven (with lid on) over the coals.
Remove lid and add ghee until melted and nearly smoking, then add batter all at once.
Add sautéed mushrooms and green garlic to center of batter. Replace lid, nestle into medium hot coals, scoop a thin layer of coals on top and allow to cook undisturbed for 5 minutes.
Using a lid lifter or gloves, carefully remove lid to view inside. The Dutch baby should set in the center, puffed and golden around the edges. If not, replace the lid, move to a cooler spot with fewer coals underneath (so as not to scorch bottom) and scoop more coals on top, checking intermittently until batter is set and edges are puffed and golden.
Sprinkle Dutch baby with flaky salt and additional grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Slice and enjoy.