Earthy Delights Recipe

Crayfish with Asparagus and Morels

Crayfish with Asparagus and Morels
The flavors of spring are delicate. The first tender emerging shoots and mushrooms usually don’t have the robust flavors of summer’s produce and need careful handling to bring out their best qualities. There are exceptions, of course. The first ramps of the year are thought by many to be the most potent and pungent of the season. But many other wild spring foods – morel mushrooms, fiddlehead ferns, wild asparagus and the like – are best appreciated when lightly cooked and seasoned, allowing their gentle flavors to shine through.

1 teaspoon unsalted butter
4 tablespoons minced shallots or onion
6 – 8 medium fresh morel mushrooms (about 3 inches long)
1 lb asparagus, medium-sized (not pencil thin)
1/2 pound cooked & cleaned crayfish tail meat
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh snipped chives, for garnish



Clean the morels by soaking them in cold, salted water for 15 or 20 minutes. This brief soaking will dislodge any grit or forest debris that might be trapped in the morel’s honeycomb structure – and it will flush out any creepy-crawly hitchikers that might be lurking in there too. Drain well and gently pat dry. Leave small morels (1 inch or less) whole; halve or quarter larger morels lengthwise.


Rinse the asparagus and cut the tips off; set aside. Snap or cut off the woody bottoms of the asparagus spears and discard. Steam or microwave the trimmed asparagus spears until tender, but still crisp, about 4 minutes. Plunge into cold water until cool, then drain well and set aside.


Melt the butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the morels and cook for about 5 minutes, then add the asparagus tips and continue to cook until tender, about another 5 minutes. Add the crayfish and cook for 2 minutes or until just heated through. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice, adding salt and pepper to taste.


Arrange the steamed asparagus spears on the serving plates, then mound the crayfish mixture neatly in the center. Sprinkle snipped chives on the plate to garnish and serve.


Serves 4 as an appetizer or 2 as a main course.