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Baby Shower Recipes - Salads

RIGATONI WITH EGGPLANT AND DRIED TOMATO PESTO

Ingredients:

1 medium onion
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound)
6 ounces dried rigatoni or other short pasta (such as penne or fusilli)
1/3 recipe Dried Tomato Pesto (recipe follows)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons crumbled chevre (goat cheese) or feta cheese (optional)
Fresh Italian parsley

Directions:

Cut onion into 8 wedges. Place in a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; brush with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.

Roast in a 425 degree F oven for 10 minutes.

Cut stem end off eggplant; discard. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Brush with remaining olive oil.

Stir onion; place eggplant in pan, cut sides down. Continue roasting for 15 minutes more or until onion is golden brown and eggplant is just tender.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain well. Toss the cooked pasta with Dried Tomato Pesto and pepper.

Transfer pasta to a serving bowl; keep warm.

Transfer eggplant to a cutting board; using a serrated knife, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. (Use a fork to steady eggplant as you slice.)

Toss eggplant and onion with pasta; season to taste with salt. Top with cheese and Italian parsley, if desired.

Makes 6 to 8 side-dish servings or 4 main-dish servings.

Dried Tomato Pesto:

Drain 3/4 cup oil-packed dried tomatoes (about 3/4 of a 7-ounce jar), reserving oil.

Add olive oil to equal 1/2 cup; set aside.

In a food processor bowl or blender container, combine the drained tomatoes; 8 cloves garlic, chopped; 1/4 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds; 1/4 cup snipped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil, crushed; and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Cover and process or blend until finely chopped. With machine running, gradually add the 1/2 cup oil, processing or blending until almost smooth and stopping to scrape down sides as needed.

Divide pesto into thirds. Use a third for Rigatoni with Eggplant and refrigerate the remaining 2 portions up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month.

 Makes approximately three 1/3-cup portions.

 

ASPARAGUS PASTA SALAD

Ingredients:

• 6 oz cut macaroni or shell pasta (2 cups dry)
• 16 oz can asparagus drained and diced
• 1/2 cup shredded carrot
• 8 oz carton (1 cup) plain nonfat yogurt
• 1 can (2.25 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained
• 2 cups leftover ham, diced
• 1/8 teaspoon dried tarragon, crushed
• 1/8 teaspoon dried basil, crushed

Directions:

Cook pasta as directed and drain. Place all ingredients into large salad bowl and toss well.

Chill for one hour before serving. If pasta seems dry add 1/2 cup additional yogurt. Makes 4 to 6 servings. 

 

ORZO SALAD

Ingredients:

• 1 cup orzo, cooked and drained
• 1 ear corn, husk and silk removed
• 1 shallot, chopped
• 1 small garlic clove, minced
• 1 medium red or yellow sweet pepper, halved and seeded
• 6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
• 2-3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
• Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat grill pan on medium heat. Drizzle corn and pepper with 2 Tablespoons olive oil.

Grill until lightly brown on all sides and remove from heat. Cut corn off cob and chop pepper in small pieces about size of corn.

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in small sauce pan. Saute shallot and garlic for 2 minutes.

Add to corn and pepper mixture. Toss cooked orzo with mixture, 3 Tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice and basil.

Salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4 servings.