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Asparagus with Morels and Tarragon

Well, those chocolate-chocolate chip cookies from last weekend didn’t last very long. Of the couple dozen or so that were left over from my picnic, they were polished off at the office on the following business day. People shamelessly admitted as I was trying to pawn off the last few to have an empty container to take home that they’d had more than a few samples (three seemed to be the average number).

The rest of the produce that I picked up at the Fulton Stall Market last weekend was polished off as well during the course of the week, but this time by me. The fresh asparagus prodded me to try a recipe that Mark Bittman had published in the New York Times: Asparagus with Morels and Tarragon. I was dreaming of gorgeous green spears teamed up with the meaty flavor of the morels (another springtime delicacy) and the sharp, licorice-like snap of tarragon all enrobed in a lovely cream and shallot bath. This kind of French-inspired rich food is something that I don’t make very often but that which I thoroughly enjoy eating. See how gorgeous this looks bubbling away in the pan:

To serve it, I decided to put the finished dish in a puff pastry cup and serve it with one of the fresh eggs that I also bought at the market. I poached the egg and sprinkled some extra tarragon on top. The combination was a perfect match. Although I made this for brunch, it would be a wonderful light dinner or lunch meal, too. A glass of chilled white wine could almost transport one to a bistro in Paris.

I also managed to polish off all the strawberries I bought downtown, as well. These were great, fat, early-season, ruby-red gems. As I’m a no-fuss, instant gratification kind of berry eater, I took the easy approach with these. Hulled and cut in half, they received a light sprinkle of orange liqueur and a tiny bit of sugar to macerate. Then, I put in dollop of the left-over crème fraîche from my previous recipe. With each bite, I gathered a bit of sweet fruit and tart cream to contrast. I can’t wait to get to the market again next weekend to see if there are any of these left.

Buon appetito!

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