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Here is a favorite recipe of mine that is perfect for that time of year when Michigan's fabulous asparagus crop is first picked. Get ready to enjoy the early pickings with this tasty side dish.


2 lb. Asparagus, pencil-thin
8 oz. Shiitake Mushrooms
1/4 cups Unsalted Butter
1/4 cups Minced Shallots
1 T Finely Chopped Parsley
1 T Chopped Basil
1 t Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
5 oz. Parmesan Cheese, shaved thin
Salt to Taste

Add asparagus to a large pan of boiling salted water. Lower heat and simmer asparagus until tender, about 1 minute. Drain and pat asparagus dry.

Meanwhile, remove and discard mushroom stems. Cut mushrooms into 1/4 inch strips.

Melt butter in a large heavy skillet, add the shallots and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until shallots are golden brown.

Add asparagus and mushrooms to the shallots and cook 2 minutes. Next, add herbs, salt and pepper and cook an additional minute.

Transfer asparagus to an oven-proof platter, arranging stalks in an even row so they can be served easily. Sprinkle asparagus with shiitakes. Then top with Parmesan Cheese. Place platter under a hot broiler until cheese is slightly melted, about 2 minutes. Do not brown. Serve immediately.

Serves 6.

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