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Morels popping up on Lawrence menus

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Pizza Bianca with morels, Maggie's Farm purple asparagus, fresh spinach, Crescenza cheese and truffle oil was one of the May 14, 2013, lunch specials at Genovese.

Pizza Bianca with morels, Maggie's Farm purple asparagus, fresh spinach, Crescenza cheese and truffle oil was one of the May 14, 2013, lunch specials at Genovese. by Sara Shepherd

It’s the time of year when morels are popping up in Kansas woods and in the news feeds of those foraging-types you’re friends with on Facebook — not that that does us non-foraging-types any good.

Luckily, a few Lawrence restaurants have secured sources for the elusive mushrooms and are plating up the pungent (in a good way!) fungi in various forms.

I got my fix today at Genovese, where the lunch specials included a Pizza Bianca with morels, Maggie's Farm purple asparagus, fresh spinach, Crescenza cheese and truffle oil. In the past week I’ve also seen morel specials advertised at 715 — where they’ve offered the mushrooms at dinnertime, sauteed with pancetta and served over grilled WheatFields bread and Maytag polenta — and at Pachamama’s — where they showed them Friday on Facebook atop pan roasted walleye, along with roasted cauliflower and dill and onion bubble and squeak.

To buy morels to cook yourself, Pendleton’s Kaw Valley Country Market also has advertised morels in their newsletter, although in limited amounts. For availability call 843-1409.

Watch social media feeds and keep an eye on downtown sandwich boards to catch any remaining morel specials before what's left of the season is gone. And maybe it wouldn’t hurt to try and make more of those foraging types more than just Facebook friends — they're probably more likely to share than to give away their secret hunting spots.

The true morel (left) is distinguishable from false morels (right) by its hollow core. False morels have cottony or other weblike structures inside their stem and cap.

The true morel (left) is distinguishable from false morels (right) by its hollow core. False morels have cottony or other weblike structures inside their stem and cap.

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