the appetizer:

Edible: A Celebration of Local Foods by Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian, includes recipes like Asparagus with Morels and Tarragon; Kohlrabi with Bacon; and Poblanos Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Shrimp.



Asparagus with Morels and Tarragon

Courtesy of Kristen Lee-Charlson/Edible Missoula (Montana)

Makes 6 Servings

Asparagus with Morels and Tarragon


When local asparagus is in season, it's tempting to eat it at every meal. Asparagus is one of those vegetables that requires little adornment, and this dish fits the bill. If you can't find fresh morels or other exotic mushrooms, this recipe works wonderfully well with rehydrated dried morels, or a combination of various dried mushrooms.

  • 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
  • 2 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/4 pound fresh morels, cleaned and halved lengthwise if large,
         or other exotic mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt, plus more if needed
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Have a large bowl of ice water ready. In a large sauté pan with 3 inches of boiling, salted water, add the asparagus. Cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the asparagus to the bowl of ice warer. Once cool, transfer the asparagus to a plate lined with paper towels.

Empty the sauté pan and wipe dry. Heat 3 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. When the foam subsides, add the shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the morels and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the asparagus, 1 tablespoon of the tarragon, the salt, and the remaining tablespoon of butter and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Garnish with the remaining tablespoon of chopped tarragon. Serve immediately.

  • from:
    A Celebration of Local Foods
  • by Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian
  • Wiley 2010
  • Hardcover; 336 pages; $29.95
  • ISBN-10: 0470371080
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-470-37108-41
  • Reprinted by permission.

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