Asparagus, chanterelles and fresh basil

I have been in a rut. My lack of culinary inspiration has been epic this winter. About 3 weeks ago I planted my garden – without fail, inspiration came flooding in.

In the last moments before my culinary hibernation this winter I picked up dehydrated wild chanterelles – they’ve been waiting for inspiration since October.

This dish says goodbye to winter doldrums and is an homage to spring. Lovely over a small amount of fettucini pasta, equally wonderful as a side.

Serves 4

250 grams of pencil thin spring asparagus cut 2-3 cm pieces
25 grams of dehydrated chanterelles*
2 shallots thinly diced
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup of lightly packed fresh basil chopped roughly
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 heaping tablespoons of creme fresh
1 cup warm water
fresh parmesan and red chilis for garnish

Method
Start by soaking the chanterelles in warm water.
While the mushrooms are soaking chop the shallots and asparagus.
When the mushrooms are soft take them out of the water and reserve the liquid. Cut any pieces that seem large (this is really personal preference – I love the look and texture of a whole chanterelles so I would only cut ones that are bigger then 3-4 mouthfuls. Of course, you will want to serve the dish with a knife so they can be cut to mouth size pieces)
Warm the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add the shallots, mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes.
Add half of the reserved mushroom broth, asparagus and grate the lemon zest on top. Loosely cover the pot and let the asparagus cook for 2 minutes. Add more mushroom broth if needed.
Turn the heat off and stir in the creme fresh. When the creme fresh has been incorporated add the basil and toss gently.

Divide between 4 plates and garnish with parmesan and chilis.

Enjoy!

*If you are lucky enough to have fresh chanterelles use about 250 grams. You may have to saute for slightly longer until they are soft. Substitute vegetable stock for the mushroom broth. Check the flavour before adding salt as some vegetable stocks are quite salty.

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