When I was younger my whole family and I traveled to Paris, and on one particular night we were treated to a very elegant ten course meal. You know, one of those meals which by the third or fourth course you are ready to unbutton your pants and take a nap. Well my charming Aunt Lindsay (for those of you at my wedding she gave the infamous toast wearing billy bob teeth) decided she would forgo the pre-fix menu we were having and chose to have a ten course meal devoted to the king of all mushrooms, truffles. At the time it seemed like an excellent choice. I mean who wouldn't swoon over hericot verts with truffle oil, coq au vin with truffled potato purée, or a myriad of truffled cheeses. Well by the end of the meal my trooper of an aunt swore she would never eat another truffle again and was thankful for dessert to arrive. Certainly a simple créme brulee or tart tatin would be served. No, instead she was presented with a heaping bowl of truffle ice cream. We all had a taste and agreed that truffles were indeed a diverse ingredient; however, they should NEVER be incorporated into ice cream of any kind...EVER!
We finished the evening (which we now refer to as "the night of truffles") over fed but happy. Now I can't speak for my aunt but I must say that infamous night of truffles introduced me to the world of fine mushrooms. And although I only enjoy truffles from time to time I was filled with glee when I spotted fresh, local chanterelles at the market last week. These meaty mushrooms are a luxury come fall and are only in season for a brief period.
This recipe is simple but a fine side dish or light dinner. Roasted asparagus shoots are topped with a pile of warm chanterelles sautéed in wine and fresh herbs. There are no truffles to be had in this dish, but you will come to appreciate an equally delicious gift from nature, the chanterelle :)
Roasted Asparagus and Chanterelle Fricassée
(adapted from Bon Appétit)
- 1lb. medium asparagus, tough ends trimmed
- olive oil
- 3 TBS butter (I use goat's milk butter)
- 1 large shallot
- 12 ounces fresh chanterelle mushrooms
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 TBS minced fresh parsley
- 1 TBS minced fresh tarragon
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 475°F. Arrange asparagus on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle oil over and turn to coat. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast until just tender, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot; sauté 1 minute. Add mushrooms; sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Cover; cook until mushrooms are tender, about 3 minutes. Add wine; cook uncovered until wine is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and tarragon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide asparagus among 4 plates. Top each serving with mushrooms.