Morels and Asparagus

May 18, 2014
4 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

Morels have to be washed. They are full of grit, and without giving them a good cleaning you may as well eat sand. But here is the good news: typically get mushrooms wet and they go bad faster, about morels is they can stand a little water. That said, they need to be dried before cooking; otherwise, they exude tons of water, steam, shrink up to nothing, and go limp. What you ultimately want from a morel is a crispy brown mushroom that has soaked up butter and the flavor of any aromatics you might have added to the sauté pan. I always store mushrooms in a salad spinner set in the fridge. In the case of morels, I always leave the top off and use the automatic defrost that all modern fridges have to dry them out overnight; it is worth the wait. I really like a carbon steel French style sauté pan for this recipe because it gets blazing hot very quickly. Turn on you hood vent. —thirschfeld

What You'll Need
  • A fistful of asparagus stalks, stalk end trimmed and peeled to rid it of any tough exterior
  • 10 or so morels, rinsed and dried per the headnote
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cups breadcrumbs (I like Ian's gluten-free panko crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves: half of them minced, and the other half left whole
  • 1/4 cup tarragon leaves: half minced, and the other half torn in half
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Have all your ingredients prepped and on a sheet tray next to the stove.
  2. Place a 10-inch pan over high heat. Once the pan is hot, add enough grapeseed oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the asparagus. The idea here is to cook the asparagus just through, but get the stalks seared. The oil should begin to smoke a little. You shouldn have wisps of smoke coming from the pan; the smoke shouldn't be rolling off. Season the asparagus with salt and pepper. When they have finished cooking, remove them to a plate. Keep them warm in a low oven or close to the stove.
  3. Add half the butter to the pan and quickly sear the morels until they begin to brown. Add the shallots and garlic. Stir and sauté until fragrant. Don't let the garlic brown, or it will be bitter.
  4. Add the remaining butter and half of the herbs, and toss. Season with salt and pepper, then add the bread crumbs. Toss again. Let the breadcrumbs toast.
  5. Place the morels onto the asparagus, then top with the bread crumbs and the remaining herbs. Serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Marlys
  • Gaia Goodness Natural Foods
    Gaia Goodness Natural Foods
  • cucina di mammina
    cucina di mammina
  • jjr

7 Reviews

jjr May 28, 2018
To Mimi Hill, you need to soak dried mushrooms in hot water for about 30 minutes to rehydrate them. Once soft, dry them off and continue with the recipe.
Mimi H. March 29, 2017
I was so excited to make this but must have done something incredibly wrong as I wasted my morels. I have dried morels but by putting them directly in the hot pan they BURNED and didn't soften AT ALL. I've read and reread the directions many times but still get that they are to be put directly in the sauté pan without any hydration. What did I do wrong?
Marlys June 4, 2015
Made last night and substituted button mushrooms for the morels. Yummy!
Gaia G. May 21, 2014
What a great summer dish! I'm always looking for new ways to cook vegetables since I'm trying to cut out the amount of meat I consume. Will definitely add this to the arsenal.
Cheesecurds May 20, 2014
I made this tonight and thought it was a pretty good recipe. However, I don't think one tablespoon of butter was enough. I love the fact that morels have these little pockets that hold oodles of sauce, but there was no sauce for it to hold. I definitely think that some more butter, maybe a little white wine, and some lemon juice might have helped create a sauce for it to cradle. I do think that this recipe is a great start though and plan to alter it a bit next time.
Cheesecurds May 20, 2014
I forgot to add, that your tips about the morels were perfect. I did exactly what you said and that definitely helped to create a sear. Thanks!
cucina D. May 20, 2014
This a beautiful dish combining the best of these ingredients. thanks so much for this recipe, can't wait to make it myself