Friendships are priceless, especially those that span decades. Julie and I have been friends since fourth grade…I won’t do the math for you, but that was a looooonnng time ago. We have lived through a lot over that time, both joyous and sad. There were periods of time where we would not talk for months, but when together we’d pick right back up where we left off.
Julie has always been a caring, generous, giving person so it should’ve been no surprise that a few weeks ago, she asked me if I would like some of the morels that her hubby had found that day. If you are not that familiar with the morel mushroom, you may not realize what big deal this is! When available at markets, these highly coveted wild 'shrooms often sell for about $30 a pound. For years, I have been searching the woods hoping to find these honeycombed beauties to no avail. And now I have a bounty, more than can be enjoyed at once, thanks to my dear friend.
Morels are fantastic enjoyed the day or two after harvest. Since I had more morels than we could stuff in our stomachs, I used my food dehydrator to dry the rest for later use, and made this Asparagus and Leeks with Wild Mushroom Sauce using the dried morels. To reconstitute dried mushrooms, pour 1 cup of hot water and about ¼ cup sherry over the dried mushrooms and let sit for about 30 minutes. The remaining “mushroom liquid” was used to make the sauce.
So thanks Julie for your friendship all these years, for being there through it all, and most definitely for the morels!
Asparagus and Leeks with a Wild Mushroom Sauce (inspired by this recipe)
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed (ours came from Green B.E.A.N. delivery)
- 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms (we used the reconstituted morels and crimini mushrooms from Green B.E.A.N. delivery but any sliced mushroom would be great)
- 1/2 cup sliced leeks (you could also use shallots or a milder onion)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- fresh parsley to garnish
- in boiling water, blanch asparagus for about 1 minute. Drain and set aside.
- Melt butter and olive oil in large skillet. Add garlic and leeks (or shallots, or onions) and saute until tender, about 3 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and saute another 3 minutes.
- Add sherry (or the mushroom liquid if using dried mushrooms) and allow to reduce a bit, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add heavy cream, serve over asparagus, garnished with a sprinkle of parsley.