Wild Delights: Morel Mushroom Strata Recipe for Spring

Mushroom Strata Recipe

Makes 6-8 servings

Morels are fascinating fungi. They look like they come from outer space and can pop up in myriad interesting places. You’ll find them growing by the hundreds in the charred black ash after a forest fire, scattered along forest trails or in your garden compost if you’re lucky. They are great chameleons and likely to elude you until you find your patch. If you find some, make sure to try this Morel Strata from The Coastal Forager’s Cookbook, a dish that celebrates the bounty of spring’s foraged treasures. This flavourful strata layers earthy morels with rich cheese and bread, creating a dish that is both comforting and indulgent. Prepare this recipe for strata the night before you plan to bake it. The fresh thyme is essential and is a natural accent to the mushrooms. Thyme’s sharp, almost f loral notes are a perfect contrast to a morel’s earthiness. If you really love your friends, serve the dish for brunch with bubbly, as it makes a perfect pairing.


1½ cups (375 mL) minced onion
40 large fresh morels, cut in half,  divided
6 Tbsp (90 mL) butter
1 cup (250 mL) cooked, strained, chopped spinach or young nettle leaves
2 Tbsp (30 mL) thyme leaves
1 Tbsp (15 mL) minced sage or flowering currant leaves
2 Tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
8 cups (2 L) cubed (1-inch/  2.5 cm cubes) crusty white loaf
2 cups (500 mL) grated fontina cheese  ¼ cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
9 large eggs
2¾ cups (675 mL) milk
2 Tbsp (30 mL) Dijon mustard
¾ tsp (3 mL) salt
¾ tsp (3 mL) pepper
Pinch of ground cumin


  1. Sauté the onions and half the morels in 3 Tbsp (45 mL) of the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach, herbs, and lemon juice, and cook for about 3 minutes, just to reduce the amount of moisture, then turn off the heat.
  2. Butter a deep 9- × 13-inch (27 × 33 cm) baking dish.
  3. Spread one-third of the bread cubes in the prepared dish. Top with one-third of the morel mixture and one-third of each cheese. Repeat this layering with remaining bread, morel mixture, and cheese, so you have three layers of each.
  4. Whisk the eggs, milk, mustard, salt, and pepper together in a large bowl and pour evenly over the ingredients in the baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 8 hours, or up to 24 hours.
  5. The  next  day,  let  the  strata  stand  at  room  temperature  for  30 minutes while the oven preheats to 350°F.
  6. Bake the strata, uncovered, in the center of the oven until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, 50–60 minutes. Test for doneness by checking the center with a knife. If it’s still wet, cook for another 5 or 10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
  7. Around the 40-minute point, place the remaining sliced morels in a large pan with the remaining 3 Tbsp (45 mL) of butter, the cumin and salt to taste. Cook on medium-high heat until brown, about 10 minutes. Add them to the strata as a topping.

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Recipe by Robin Kort from The Coastal Forager’s Cookbook: Feasting Wild in the Pacific Northwest, copyright © 2023 by Robin Kort.