Now that I had the lovely morels from my foraging adventure, I decided to cook them as my contribution to a dinner party, where I was scheduled to bring an asparagus dish. I went searching the web for something seasonal and delicious, and found a couple of recipes (here and here) that suggested asparagus and morels was a good combination. I ended up doing my own variation of the two, trying to remember to let the ingredients be the stars, and that simplicity is a virtue in cooking those star ingredients. The amounts of ingredients used was approximate, as I wanted enough to serve about 10 people.
- 2 quart sauce pan with lid
- 2 baking sheets
- cutting board
- chef’s knife
- spoon or silicon spatula for stirring
- about 20 morels
- 2-4 lbs asparagus (I used both white and green because both were available)
- 1 large shallot
- unsalted butter
- beef broth
- half & half
- Wash, drain, and trim asparagus. Place in single layer on baking sheets.
- Wash, drain, trim, and slice the morels into bite sized pieces.
- Peel and mince the shallot.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- When the oven is hot, roast the asparagus in the oven for about 15 minutes per pan, depending on the thickness of the asparagus spears. Thicker spears may need more time. If the asparagus is bright green, and slightly tender after 15 minutes, remove from the oven, place on a serving plate, and cover with foil to keep warm. If it’s too crisp, roast the asparagus for a few more minutes.
- Melt about 3 Tbs. of butter in the sauce pan over medium heat. When the foam subsides, add the shallot and let it soften.
- Add the morels to the sauce pan with about 1/4 tsp. of salt and cook, so that they begin to release some water. Add about 4 Tbsp. of beef broth, and cook, covered, for about 4 minutes.
- Remove the lid and stir the mixture. Bring to a boil to evaporate some excess water, if needed.
- Lower back to medium heat, and add half and half. I used about half a cup, but use your judgment, based on the amount of asparagus, and the sauce consistency you like. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Pour sauce over asparagus, and serve.
This was a big hit at the dinner party, despite the fact that some of the sauce was spilled due to the shallowness of the serving plate. I’ll definitely do this again the next time I have morels available.