By Dr. Rutter

2 bunches of asparagus

a pint of shiitake mushrooms

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

2 tablespoons of butter

½ cup of soy sauce

1 teaspoon of black pepper

This recipe is inspired by Lantern, a restaurant in Chapel Hill, N.C., where I worked for several years. Typically, a soft-boiled egg would be placed on top, but I am squeamish about egg yolks (I know, I know).

Wash the asparagus and the shiitakes. Cut off the stems of the asparagus and slice the spears diagonally into inch-long pieces. Sauté the asparagus on medium heat along with the sesame oil for approximately 5 minutes. Add the rinsed shiitake mushrooms, and sauté these vegetables together with the soy sauce and butter for approximately 10 minutes.

Serve as a side dish with friends or family who take as much pleasure from savory vegetables as you do.