Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Easy and Light Springtime Meal

Yeah, signs of spring have returned. So nice to enjoy a crisp and sunny morning on a spring's day. In that light, wanted to pass along a couple of light and easy side dishes that can easily pair with a range of mains. I first enjoyed them with Linguini with Pecorino, Butter, Pepper and Arugula, which works beautifully. Add in a light and somewhat fruity white wine and enjoy this simple and colorful meal.

Proscuitto and Peas
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 shallots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1-pound bag frozen peas, thawed
4 ounces prosciutto, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, garlic, salt, and pepper, and saute until tender, about 1 minute. Add the peas and saute until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the prosciutto and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the parsley and remove from the heat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper, and serve.

Mushroom Parmesan
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing the grill pan
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup marinara sauce (store bought or homemade is fine)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat a gas or charcoal grill. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil over both sides of the mushrooms. Sprinkle the mushrooms with salt and pepper. Drizzle olive oil on the grill to prevent the mushrooms from sticking. Grill until the mushrooms are heated through and tender, about 5 minutes per side.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Place the grilled mushrooms on top of the marinara sauce and top with the remaining marinara sauce. Sprinkle with the cheeses and bake until the cheese melts and the top is golden, about 15 minutes.

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