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Fiddlehead ferns, morels and asparagus gratin

Posted by Peggy on May 17, 2010

Fiddlehead ferns, morels and asparagus gratin
Recipe: Fiddlehead ferns, morels and asparagus gratin


  • 6 ounces (1.5 cups) thin asparagus cut into 2-inch inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound (1 1/2 cups) fiddleheads (cleaned of brown leaves and trimmed of woody ends)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions, shallots or ramps (wild leeks)
  • 1 cup fresh or rehydrated morel mushrooms* stems removed and cut in half if large
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Madeira wine
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme leaves
  • 1/4 c fresh white bread crumbs or panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Blanch asparagus and fiddleheads in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain and shock in ice water.
  3. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add scallions and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add morels and sauté an additional minute or two or until just tender. Remove morels and scallions from pan and reserve. Add remaining butter, cream and Madeira to pan and simmer over low heat until slightly reduced, 4-5 minutes.
  4. Return morels to pan, stir in thyme, and gently heat an additional minute. Place mixture in a shallow, oven-proof baking dish (about 6 inches by 6 inches) and bake on the center rack of oven, about 5-6 minutes or until golden brown. Serve.

*Carefully wipe the sand off fresh morels with a damp paper towel, only if necessary. If using dried morels, rehydrate according to package instructions using a minimum amount of water (save the water for soup). A 1/2 ounce of dried morels yields about a cup of rehydrated morels.

Time: 30 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 4 side dishes

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