Morels, Asparagus and Sunchokes in Brown Butter with Toasted Hazelnuts

Serves 4 to 6.

Note: To make a light entree, toss this sauté with pasta or serve over rice. From Beth Dooley.

• 1/3 c. hazelnuts

• 2 tbsp. unsalted butter

• 1/4 c. chopped shallots

• 1 c. morel mushrooms (if large, cut in half horizontally), cleaned (split and rinsed in cold, salted water; drained and dried)

• 1/3 lb. sunchokes, peeled and sliced into 1-in. sticks (about 1 c.)

• 1/3 lb. asparagus, rinsed, hard stems snapped off, cut into 1-in. pieces

• 1/4 c. chopped parsley

• Juice of 1/3 lemon • Lemon wedges for garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the nuts on a small baking sheet and roast until the skins crack and the nuts are dark, about 10 minutes. Remove; roll them in a clean dish towel to rub off the skins. Chop the nuts coarsely and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-low until it becomes foamy. Just as it begins to brown and smell nutty, add the shallots and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Then add the morels and cook until they soften and begin to brown, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the sunchokes, asparagus and parsley, and toss to coat with the butter. Add the lemon juice, cover and cook to slightly steam the vegetables until tender-crisp for about 2 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle the vegetables with the hazelnuts and serve with a wedge of lemon on the side.

Nutrition information per serving of 6:

Calories 105 Fat 8 g Sodium 6 mg

Carbohydrates 7 g Saturated fat 3 g Calcium 43 mg

Protein 2 g Cholesterol 10 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 1½ fat.

Spring Pasta with Ramps and Morels

Serves 4 to 6.

Note: This dish tangles spring’s fragrant ramps (wild leeks) with earthy morels. Serve with a bright salad of watercress and field greens. From Beth Dooley.

• 1 tbsp. unsalted butter

• 1/4 c. chopped shallots

• 1 c. morels, cleaned (as noted above) and sliced into 1-in. pieces

• 4 to 6 ramps (wild leeks), cleaned, whiskers trimmed, and cut into 1/2-in. pieces (or 1 leek, cleaned, white part sliced)

• 1/3 c. diced ham

• 1/3 c. white wine

• 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken stock

• 1/3 c. heavy cream

• 1 tbsp. chopped thyme

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

•10 oz. dried linguine, cooked

• 1/3 c. chopped fresh parsley

• Shaved Parmesan or Asiago cheese, optional

Directions

In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, melt the butter and cook the shallots, morels and ramps until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set in a bowl.

Add the ham to the skillet, and cook, stirring until just beginning to brown. Reduce the heat, and whisk in the wine, stock and cream; simmer until the sauce reduces and thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Return the shallots, morels and ramps to the skillet with the thyme and simmer for about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the cooked linguine and toss to coat thoroughly. Toss in the parsley and serve garnished with the cheese.

Nutrition information per serving of 6:

Calories 310 Fat 9 g Sodium 280 mg

Carbohydrates 46 g Saturated fat 4 g Calcium 53 mg

Protein 11 g Cholesterol 24 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 3 bread/starch, 2 fat.