Northwest NEWS

April 8, 2002

Home & Garden


Dining In: Put some spring on your table

Spring Asparagus with Pasta
   8 oz. fresh or dried angel hair pasta
   Olive oil cooking spray
   1 small red onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
   8 medium asparagus, cut in 1/2-inch slices
   1/2 c. frozen baby green peas
   1 c. chicken broth or vegetable broth
   12 cherry tomatoes, halved
   1/2 c. (2 oz.) crumbled feta cheese
   1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
   1/4. c. chopped fresh basil leaves
   1/4 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
   Cook pasta according to package directions until tender but not mushy. Drain and transfer to a large, ovenproof bowl. Spray pasta generously with cooking spray and toss to blend to keep pasta from sticking. Place bowl in oven at a low temperature (100 to 250 degrees) to keep warm.
   While pasta is cooking, spray a medium skillet generously with cooking spray. Heat pan over medium-high heat. Saute onion one minute. Add asparagus and peas. Saute until asparagus is bright green, about two minutes. Add broth and cook until asparagus is tender crisp, about two minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
   Divide pasta among four shallow soup bowls. Top with vegetables and their liquid.
   Sprinkle cheese over top. Drizzle olive oil over top, add basil and parsley for garnish and serve.
   Makes 4 servings.
   Greek Lamb with Orzo
   1 lb. boneless lamb shoulder, cut in 2-inch cubes
   1 Tbsp. olive oil
   1 medium onion, chopped
   5 carrots, cut in 1-inch pieces
   1/4 c. chicken broth
   Juice of 1 lemon
   1 tsp. salt
   1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
   1 c. orzo pasta
   1/2 c. raisins
   1-1/2 tsp. dried sage
   1 tsp. mint
   1/4 c. chopped fresh mint, for garnish (optional)
   Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add lamb and brown, stirring frequently. If necessary to avoid crowding, do in two batches. Set meat aside.
   Add oil to pan heat until hot. Saute onion and carrots until onion softens, 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Return meat to pan. Add broth, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
   Add 3 c. water. Simmer 30 minutes or until lamb is almost tender.
   Add orzo, raisins, sage and mint. Simmer until lamb is tender and pasta is cooked, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Adjust seasonings to taste, garnish with mint and serve.
   Makes 6 servings.
   Spinach and Citrus Salad
   6-7 leaves leafy green lettuce, like romaine, Boston, Bibb
   1 6-oz. package baby spinach, stems removed
   2 c. peeled and diced jicama or canned water chestnuts
   1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into bite size wedges
   1/2 orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into bite size wedges
   1/2 c. chopped red onion
   1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro
   2 oranges, peel and white pith removed, quartered
   1 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
   4 tsp. sherry or white wine vinegar
   1-1/2 tsp. honey
   1 tsp. fresh lime juice
   1/4 tsp. chili powder, or to taste
   12 Tbsp. olive oil
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
   Tear lettuce into bite size pieces. Place in large bowl. Mix in spinach, jicama, bell peppers, onion and cilantro.
   Cut quartered oranges crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices. With grapefruit knife, remove individual segments of fruit from halved grapefruit. Add fruit to bowl and toss to combine ingredients.
   In separate bowl, whisk together orange juice, vinegar, honey, lime juice and chili powder.
   Gradually whisk in olive oil. Toss salad with enough dressing to coat lightly.
   Season to taste with salt and pepper.
   Makes 8 servings.
   Salmon with Rhubarb Sauce
   1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
   1 small carrot, thinly sliced
   1 small onion, finely chopped
   2 rhubarb stalks, thinly sliced
   1 large shallot, finely chopped
   1/3 c. white wine or white wine vinegar
   1 c. clam juice
   12 oz. salmon fillet in one piece
   1 lb. fresh spinach, stemmed and washed
   Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
   Wrap salmon in foil and bake until cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes.
   Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat 1 tsp. butter over medium-high heat until hot but still golden. Saute carrot, onion, rhubarb and shallot until onion softens, about five minutes.
   Add wine or vinegar and boil until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add clam juice and simmer 15 minutes, until vegetables are very soft.
   In a large pot, place spinach, with any water clinging to leaves. Cover and cook over medium heat until spinach is wilted and just tender, about five minutes. Uncover and set aside.
   Transfer vegetable mixture to a blender and puree. Gradually blend remaining butter into sauce. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
   Gently squeeze most of water from spinach. Arrange a bed of it on four plates. Add one-fourth of salmon to each plate.
   Spoon one fourth of sauce over each serving of fish. Serve immediately.
   Makes 4 servings.
   Honey Mint Carrots
   6 medium peeled carrots, cut in 1/4-inch diagonal slices (about 3 c.)
   1 Tbsp. honey
   1 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves ( or 1 tsp. dried)
   In large pan, heat 1 inch of water to boiling .
   Add carrots and bring water back to boil. Immediately reduce heat, cover pan and simmer about 10 minutes, or until carrots are crisp tender.
   Drain well and transfer to serving bowl.
   Drizzle honey on top and sprinkle mint leaves over all. Toss gently to mix well and serve immediately.
   Makes 6 servings.