Sautéed Asparagus, and Purée With King Trumpet Mushrooms

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    1. Trim the woody ends off all the bunches of white and green asparagus and set aside for stock. Then cut about 1 cm worth of thin slices off the remaining asparagus, starting from the trimmed end. Slice until both the white and green asparagus spears reach about 5 inches long.
    2. Reserve thin slices for asparagus purée.
    3. Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Season the asparagus spears liberally with black pepper and lemon salt. Add the oil to the hot pan and let it start to smoke. Add the asparagus spears in an even layer along with any remaining seasoning from the tray. Sauté for 90 seconds or until the green of the asparagus brightens and the white begins to char. Flip the spears, add the butter, and shake the pan so the butter can melt to the bottom. Let the butter brown and the asparagus spears char for another 90 seconds.
    4. Deglaze the pan with vegetable stock. Turn off the heat and place a folded piece of aluminum foil on top of the asparagus to steam for 2 to 5 minutes. Check for doneness with the edge of your knife. If you feel resistance, let the asparagus simmer on low heat for another 2 minutes. If your knife slides through the asparagus fairly easy, remove from heat and reserve for plating.
    Green Asparagus Purée
    1. Melt the butter in a large, shallow saucepan over mediumlow heat. Add the shallots and garlic with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sauté for 3 minutes or until translucent and slightly tender. Do not get any color on the shallots and garlic. Add the asparagus slices, season with 2 pinches of salt, a dash of pepper, and lemon thyme. Stir together with a wooden spoon and sauté for another 3 to 5 minutes or until the asparagus is softened. Be sure not to get any color on the asparagus. The green asparagus should have a vibrant green color—if it starts to gray it is overcooked. Deglaze the pan with enough vegetable stock to submerge the cooked vegetables and let the liquid come to a simmer. Turn the heat off, cover with a lid, and let rest for 2½ minutes. The asparagus should be soft when pinched between your thumb and finger and tender to the bite. Remove the lid and bring the heat back to medium. Add the cream and bring to a boil for 1 to 2 minutes. The purée will separate if the cream is cold when blending. Taste and season with more salt as needed.
    2. Transfer the asparagus mixture to a blender. If you still have a decent amount of cooking liquid in the pan, do not pour all of it into the blender. Reserve to begin and add as needed or you may end up with soup instead. Start blending on low speed, then gradually increase to medium and blend for 1 minute to emulsify all the ingredients. The purée should be silky smooth and hold to the spoon when scooped. Taste and season with more salt as needed. If your purée is not coming together, add a few tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid to the blender to thin it out. If you don’t have extra cooking liquid, use vegetable stock instead. Cool down slightly and pour into an 8-ounce squeeze bottle.
    King Trumpet Mushrooms
    1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over mediumheat. Slice the trumpet mushrooms in ½ lengthwise. Use the tip of a paring knife to score the cut side of the mushrooms on the bias, moving diagonally across the flesh. Repeat the process in the opposite direction to create a crosshatch pattern.
    2. Place the mushrooms cut side down in the sauté pan and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the scored sides start to become golden-brown. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and flip the mushrooms over. Add the garlic and thyme sprigs and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Drain the mushrooms on a plate lined with paper towels.
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