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Favourite Spring Time Veggies
May 07, 2012

Favourite Spring Time Veggies

By Denise K. Livotti – www.PetitsChefsAcademy.com

Two of my favourite springtime veggies would have to be the asparagus and the rhubarb.  Raw rhubarb’s natural tartness and crunchy texture makes it a versatile ingredient that can easily be incorporated into everyday drinks, meals and snacks.  As a child I remember picking the rhubarb fresh from my grandmother’s garden and eating it just like that always dipping it into some sugar.  Asparagus is fresh and velvety but needs to be cooked to fully enjoy.  So this weekend try these recipes and enjoy the fresh tastes of spring with your family – we sure did.

Pasta Primavera with Asparagus

Rich tasting without the cream, this springtime dish is a great way to enjoy fresh local asparagus. 

Ingredients:

1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces.

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

½ cup mushrooms, sliced

½ cup peas, fresh or frozen

¾ cup tomato, seeded and diced

1 lb. fusilli or farfalle (bowtie) pasta\1 cup freshly grated Parmesan chees

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:  In large pot of boiling water cook asparagus for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender-crisp.  Drain and rinse under cold water to stop it from over cooking.  Set aside.  Heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion, garlic, mushrooms and peas, and cook for about 5 minutes, until onion is softened.  Stir in reserved asparagus and heat through.  Meanwhile, cvook pasta in boiling water until al dente, about 8 minutes.  Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

In large bowl, toss the pasta with the vegetable mixture.  Add the diced tomato and enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten.  Sprinkle with cheese, salt and pepper.  Toss to combine, add parsley and serve immediately.  Serves 4

Rhubarb Sauce

Rhubarb sauce spooned over a slice of angel food cake is an easy, light and delicious dessert or put it ontop of your favourite low-fat vanilla ice cream (add some mint to garnish), even add it as a side for dipping your crispy baked chicken legs.  So versatile, so tasty a perfect combination for sweet and salty.

Ingredients:

6 cups chopped rhubarb

1 cup coconut sugar or ½ cup agave syrup

¼ cup water

1 Tbsp. fresh orange zest

1 tsp. each of vanilla and cinnamon

 Directions:

In a saucepan, bring rhubarb, syrup and water to simmer over medium heat.  Stir until rhubarb softens and syrup has amalgamated, about 10 minutes.  Stir in orange zest, vanilla and cinnamon (good for lowering blood pressure).  Let cool.  Serve over cake or low-fat vanilla ice cream.  Serves 4

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