A Spring Trifecta—Morels, Asparagus, and Green Garlic
This week I picked up some morels at the market and decided to sauté them with some asparagus and green garlic in a little olive oil and butter.
So good! Like seriously good. My sweetheart took one tentative bite and then devoured the rest. I've made it 3 times already this week.
Have you ever cooked with or foraged for morel mushrooms?
Morels are exquisite spring mushrooms with an unusual and distinctive honeycomb appearance.
In the mushroom foraging world, morels are considered a good "beginner" mushroom because they are so easy to identify.
Morels pop up in old orchards and sometimes in freshly laid garden mulch (I often find morels in our former-orchard yard).
But usually the ones available in the stores here are foraged by professional mushroom hunters who find them in the mountains and foothills in the spring, after an autumn fire.
Because of all those nooks and crannies, morels can tend to hold onto some grit. So to cook with them, you'll want to soak them in water first, and drain and re-soak them several times.
Then you just slice them and cook them like any mushroom; they're delicious!
If fresh morels aren't available, you can also use dry morels, you'll just need to soak them in water for several hours to rehydrate.
Regarding the green garlic, I've seen versions with shallots, but since green garlic is available in the market, I went with that for this recipe.
You could use shallots, spring onions, green onions, or leeks if green garlic isn't available where you are. But if you are finding fresh morels at your market, you can likely find green garlic too!
Green garlic tastes like garlic scented green onions, very mild, not at all as strong or overpowering as mature garlic.
We like this dish just served on its own for a simple lunch, but it would make a great side dish for chicken or beef. Enjoy!
Sautéed Asparagus with Morels
- 1/4 pound fresh morel mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1-2 green garlics, sliced (white and purple bulb, and light green stalk), (can sub shallots)
- 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence (can use dry thyme or a combination of thyme and dry tarragon)
- 1 pound of asparagus, trimmed (choose asparagus on the thin side)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the morels:
Slice the morel mushrooms in half lengthwise. Place in a bowl and cover with water. Agitate the water to release grit or dirt from the mushrooms. Drain. Repeat. Then fill with water and let sit while you prep the other ingredients.
Boil the asparagus:
Fill the bottom of a large skillet with about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch of water. Add a quarter teaspoon of salt. Add one slice of the prepped green garlic. Bring to a boil.
Add the asparagus in an even layer. Cook until barely cooked (still firm, but can easily poke with a fork), about 3 minutes. (See How to Boil Asparagus.)
Remove to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
Drain and slice the morels:
Drain and rinse the morels one more time. Then slice them crosswise into 1/4-inch slices.
Sauté green garlic and morels:
Heat olive oil and melt butter in a large skillet (I use a 10-inch cast iron pan) on medium high heat. Add the sliced green garlic and the sliced morels.
Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence.
Cook on medium high heat until the mushrooms start releasing their water, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the asparagus:
While the mushrooms are cooking, cut the asparagus in 1-inch diagonal segments.
Add the asparagus to the mushroom green garlic mixture. Sprinkle with black pepper, toss to combine.
Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.