Tangle of Spring Greens With Warm Morels and Lentils

Serves 4.

Note: Feel free to toss in a handful of whatever herbs you have with the other leafy greens; if you have a variety, keep the salad dressing simple, with only a few shakes of red wine vinegar and your best olive oil. The sugar snap peas can be left raw or you can toss them in with the mushrooms and garlic scapes, but keeping them crisp with the other greens makes a nice contrast to the tenderness of the lentils and mushrooms. From “Untamed Mushrooms: From Field to Table, A Midwestern Guide,” by Michael Karns, Dennis Becker and Lisa Golden Schroeder.

For the vinaigrette (see Note):

• 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 tbsp. chopped fresh chives

• 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

• 1 medium lemon, zested and juiced

• Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the salad:

• 1 c. uncooked French lentils (Le Puy or small green lentils)

• 2 tbsp. olive oil

• 1/2 c. sliced small garlic scapes or 3 to 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

• 1/2 lb. (4 c.) fresh morel mushrooms, rinsed well and halved

• Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

• 6 c. mixed baby greens and watercress

• 1 1/2 c. fresh sugar snap peas, some sliced and some left whole (see Note)

• 3/4 c. sliced fresh radishes

• 1/2 c. torn fresh tarragon leaves (see Note)

• Garlic chive blossoms, if you have them

Directions

To make the vinaigrette: Whisk together 1/3 cup olive oil, chives, mustard, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper until thick.

To cook the lentils: Place them in a medium saucepan with 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and cook for about 25 minutes or until tender. Drain well; toss with a couple of spoonfuls of vinaigrette.

To prepare the salad: Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the garlic scapes (or chopped garlic) and mushrooms for 8 minutes or until tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss the greens with the peas and radishes. Arrange on plates. Spoon lentils and mushroom mixture on top. Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette and sprinkle with tarragon and chive blossoms.

Porcini-Rosemary Crumb Coating

Makes 2 3/4 cups.

Note: Use this mixture to coat fish, chicken or pork before baking or frying. Dip fish fillets, chicken pieces or pork cutlets in some beaten egg before dredging in the crumb coating, then drizzle with a little olive oil if baking. From “Untamed Mushrooms: From Field to Table, A Midwestern Guide,” by Michael Karns, Dennis Becker and Lisa Golden Schroeder.

• 3 tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves

• Olive oil

• 1/2 c. (1/2 oz.) dried porcini (king bolete) mushrooms

• 2 c. panko breadcrumbs

• Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

Mix the rosemary leaves with a few drops of oil. Spread them out in a glass pie plate. Microwave on high power for about 2 1/2 minutes or until the leaves look dry. Cool.

Grind the dry rosemary and dried mushrooms in batches in a spice mill or clean coffee grinder until powdered. Mix the breadcrumbs with the rosemary-mushroom powder, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container or glass jar.