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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pesto Pork Roast

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves (or 1 tablespoon dried basil)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 garlic cloves, peeled
12 plum tomatoes
1-1/2 teaspoons pepper, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 boneless pork loin roast (3-4 pounds)
1 package (16 ounces) linguini noodles
For pesto, in a blender, combine 1/4 cup oil, basil, Parmesan cheese and garlic. Cover and process until blended. Remove 2 tablespoons pesto to a small bowl; stir in remaining oil and set aside.
Cut each tomato into four slices; place in a greased shallow roasting pan or slow cooker. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle remaining pepper and salt over roast; place over tomato slices. Spread remaining pesto over roast.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 160°; or cook in slow cooker for 6 to 8 hours on low. Remove roast and keep warm. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing.
Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and place in a large bowl. With a slotted spoon, add tomatoes to noodles; add reserved pesto and toss to coat. Serve with pork. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Chicken Pesto Rolls

2 tubes (10-count each) buttermilk biscuits
2 tablespoons pesto sauce
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1½ cups rotisserie chicken, shredded
3 tablespoons roasted red peppers, chopped
2 tablespoons black olives, chopped
Fresh Parmesan cheese
Marinara or Alfredo sauce

Lay biscuits on floured countertop (or cookie sheet) to form a 9x11-inch rectangle. (4 biscuits down, 5 across.) Using flour as needed, press biscuits together well to form one solid layer of dough.

Blend pesto into the cream cheese and spread mixture over entire surface of dough. Distribute chicken evenly over pesto cream. Sprinkle chopped peppers and olives over chicken.

Carefully roll up from the long end and gently compact as you go. With seam side down, slice into 12 equal sections. Place slices, on their sides, into greased 11x7-inch pan. Drizzle lightly with sauce and sprinkly with cheese.

Bake for 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees. Check middle rolls for doneness of bread.

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp & Vegetables

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large red bell peppers, diced
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon salt, divided
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound raw shrimp (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, asparagus, lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 6 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl; cover to keep warm.

Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add shrimp and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk broth and cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth and add to the pan along with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened slightly and the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Stir in lemon juice and parsley. Serve the shrimp and sauce over the vegetables.

Makes 4 large servings.