March Favorites: Recipes from Our Readers, Tested in Sunset's Kitchens

By Carrier, James | Sunset, March 2004 | Go to article overview

March Favorites: Recipes from Our Readers, Tested in Sunset's Kitchens


Carrier, James, Sunset


Spinach, Asparagus, and Strawberry Salad

TRISHA KRUSE, BOISE

This unusual combination came about as Trisha Kruse was searching for a way to use two of spring's freshest ingredients. To toast walnuts, place in a baking pan and bake in a 350[degrees] oven until golden, about 10 minutes.

PREP AND COOK TIME: About 30 minutes

MAKES: 6 to 8 servings

  3 tablespoons olive oil
  1 pound asparagus, rinsed, ends trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
    About 1/4 teaspoon salt
  2 tablespoons raspberry or balsamic vinegar
  8 ounces spinach leaves, rinsed
  8 ounces strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts (see note above)
    Pepper

1. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into a 12- by 15-inch baking pan; add asparagus, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and mix to coat. Spread in a single layer and bake in a 400[degrees] oven, stirring often, until tender when pierced, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool, about 15 minutes.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add spinach, strawberries, toasted walnuts, and cooled asparagus; mix to coat. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Per serving: 118 cal., 76% (90 cal.) from fat; 3.4 g protein; 10 g fat (1.1 g sat.); 6 g carbo (2.2 g fiber); 96 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

Penne with Broccoli

HERTHA VERDURMEN, SAN FRANCISCO

Don't expect crisp, bright green broccoli in this delicious sauce. Hertha Verdurmen cooks broccoli with olive oil and garlic slowly until it breaks down into a soft, flavorful pasta topping.

PREP AND COOK TIME: About 30 minutes

MAKES: 4 to 6 servings

 1 1/2 pounds broccoli florets
   1/4 cup olive oil
     3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
   1/2 teaspoon hot chili flakes
       About 1/2 teaspoon salt
       About 1/4 teaspoon pepper
    12 ounces dried penne pasta
   1/3 cup grated pecorino romano cheese

1. Rinse broccoli and trim and discard stem ends. Coarsely chop tops and stems. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over medium heat, stir olive oil and garlic often until garlic sizzles, then stir in broccoli, chili flakes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until broccoli is very soft and mashes easily with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water to pan if broccoli threatens to scorch.

2. Meanwhile, in a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring 4 quarts water to a boil; add penne and cook until tender to bite, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain and return to pan.

3. Stir broccoli mixture into pasta along with cheese. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Per serving: 342 cal., 32% (108 cal.) from fat; 13 g protein; 12 g fat (2.3 g sat.); 48 g carbo (4.5 g fiber); 294 mg sodium; 4.4 mg chol.

Spicy Eggplant, Pork, and Tofu Stir-fry

KIM JOHNSTON, MOLOKAI, HI

Kim Johnston was inspired to modify a friend's recipe into this easy stir-fry, in which pork, tofu, and eggplant are coated with a spicy garlic sauce. Serve it with rice.

PREP AND COOK TIME: About 30 minutes

MAKES: 4 servings

    1 pound eggplant
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
    1 tablespoon minced ginger
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    8 ounces ground pork
  1/4 cup soy sauce
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1 tablespoon rice or white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Asian red chili paste
    2 teaspoons cornstarch
    8 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
  1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions

1. Rinse eggplant and cut crosswise into 1-inch thick rounds. …

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