Use your noodle for cool cuisine Pesto: Spicy Asian sauce gives a quick ramen dish a kick for a summer dinner with a difference.

Fast & Fresh

July 17, 1996|By Rita Calvert | Rita Calvert,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

For steamy summer evenings make use of recipes that are refreshing, simple and quick. Some dishes from the "Terrific Pacific" cookbook (by Anya Von Bremzen and John Welchman-Workman) are just that.

One of the best examples is the Asian pesto with cool noodles. Feel free to tone down the spiciness for the pesto has a kick and is loaded with garlic.

As with most pestos, it is most easily made in a food processor or blender.

Cool noodles with Asian pesto, eggplant and shrimp

Serves 4

3 to 4 packages low fat ramen noodles

3 small Asian or Italian eggplant (or 1 small regular eggplant), sliced into 3/8 -inch thick rounds

1 1/2 cups Asian pesto (recipe follows)

8 ounces peeled and cooked medium shrimp

Put a medium pot on to boil for the noodles. (This recipe does not use the spice package included with the noodles).

Spray a medium nonstick saucepan with vegetable coating and heat over medium high heat. When hot, add the eggplant slices and cook until brown on each side, about 3 minutes total. Reserve while next making the pesto.

Cook the noodles according to package directions, but omit the seasoning package. Drain the noodles in a colander and rinse with cool water. Place on a serving platter and toss with enough pesto to coat. Top with the eggplant and shrimp and serve immediately.

Asian pesto

3/4 cup roasted peanuts

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

5 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger

1 to 2 serrano chilies, stemmed and seeded

1 cup fresh mint leaves

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1 cup fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup peanut or canola oil

1 tablespoon grated orange zest (optional)

1 teaspoon grated lime zest

1 teaspoon Oriental sesame oil

salt, to taste

Place the nuts, garlic, ginger and chili in a food processor and process to a paste. Add the herbs and process. Add the peanut oil, zests, sesame oil and process until smooth, then add salt to taste. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator if not using immediately.

Per serving: 562 calories, 4 g saturated fat, 13 g polyunsaturated fat, 25 g complex carbohydrates

Pub Date: 7/17/96

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