Morels with Asparagus and Garlic Crumbs
Morels appear just when our asparagus is at its best, so it’s fortuitous that the two flavours work so well together. The green sweetness of the asparagus contrasts the earthy richness of the mushrooms, while a scattering of crispy, herb-flecked crumbs add the perfect contrast of texture.
Serves : 2
Prep : 10 minutes
Cook : 30 minutes
- About 20 morels
- 400g asparagus
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 4 tablespoons fresh white breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 25g unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Carefully clean the morels, checking inside their hollows stems and in the indentations of their honeycomb caps for dirt and detritus. Cut any larger morels in half from top to bottom.
- Trim the bottom of the asparagus stems peel away the fibrous skin on the paler lower parts of the stalks.
- Set a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and when hot, add the asparagus in a single layer. Raise the heat and leave the asparagus to cook on one side until it starts to brown, then turn. Cook until the asparagus is tender to the point of a knife, turning to brown all over.
- While the asparagus is cooking, melt the butter in a smaller frying pan set over medium heat with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the morels and cook, stirring frequently, allowing them to soften and take on some colour. Continue cooking them over a gentle heat until the asaparagus and crumbs are ready (morels should always be well cooked).
- Lower the heat and add the shallot, garlic and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, and stir-fry for about 5 minutes, until the shallot is softened and the garlic is pale gold. Add the breadcrumbs and cook for 2-3 minutes until crisp and lightly golden.
- When the asparagus is done, season it with salt and pepper, and draw the pan off the heat. When the morels are cooked through and the breadcrumbs crisp, divide the asparagus between two warmed plates, and top each with half of the morels and crumbs.
Always remember that morels must be thoroughly cooked.
Recipe and photos by Otherwise for Wild Food UK