One serving of asparagus is naturally very low in calories and sodium—and is an important source of potassium and other micronutrients warm Salad of aSparaGuS SpearS and Seared lamb ChopS with freSh mint VinaiGrette California Asparagus Commission, Yield: 4 servings 4 lamb loin chops, 1-1 1/4” thick Salt and pepper, to taste 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 T. fresh oregano, chopped 1/4 c. olive oil, divided 1/3 c. vegetable stock 3 T. balsamic vinegar 1/4 c. fresh mint leaves, chopped 2 lbs. asparagus, hard ends discarded 1/4 c. feta cheese, crumbled 1/4 c. red onion, sliced 2 T. kalamata olives, pitted and sliced Method (1) Season the chops with salt, pepper, garlic and oregano. Heat a heavy skillet over high heat. Add 1 T. oil. Sear each side of the chops for 3-4 minutes for medium-rare. Remove chops from pan. Set aside; cover loosely to keep warm. (2) Pour off any fat left in skillet while keeping lamb juices in the pan. Add stock, and scrape up any brown bits from the pan. Boil until the liquid reduces to 1-2 T. (3) Remove pan from heat, and add vinegar. Whisk in remaining 3 T. olive oil. Add chopped mint. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. (4) Cut asparagus into 3” spears. Steam until tender. (5) To serve, arrange warm asparagus and lamb on serving plate. Pour warm vinaigrette all over. Top with feta, red onion and olives. Wine pairing: The organic, espresso-scented Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend Benziger Signaterra “Three Blocks” 2006 (California) will bring out the nuances of the lamb chops, olives and feta cheese. California Table Grape Commission, Yield: 6 servings 3/4 c. pearled barley 3 c. firmly packed kale leaves, torn or sliced into ribbons 1 c. red or black seedless California grapes, halved 8 oz. cooked salmon, cut into bite-sized chunks 1/2 c. walnuts, lightly toasted, coarsely chopped 1/4 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice 1 clove garlic, mashed 1/2 t. salt 1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper Pinch cayenne pepper 1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil Method (1) Cook the Grapes barley according to add a little package directions, more fiber power or in plenty of lightly to a whole-grain salted boiling water, and dark greens for about 35-45 minsalad utes until it is plump and tender and still slightly chewy. Drain, and cool. (2) Tenderize the kale by blanching it in boiling water for 2-3 seconds or cooking in the microwave for 1 minute. Rinse the pieces in cold water to stop the cooking, and squeeze dry. Fluff and uncrimp the dry kale pieces with your fingers. (3) In a medium bowl, mix together the barley, kale, grapes, salmon and walnuts. (4) To prepare the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne. Gradually mix in the olive oil. Pour onto the salad, and fold gently to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Wine pairing: With dark red fruits, currants and cranberry flavors, the elegant Domaine Serene “Yamhill Cuvee” Pinot Noir 2007 (Oregon) will enhance the “power” of the salmon salad. June 2010 | 27 Grape and Salmon “power” Salad Suvir Saran, chef and co-owner, Devi, New York City,, for the National Peanut Board Yield: 8-10 servings 1 lb. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, coarsely grated 1 lb. mixed soft to semihard cheeses, like Cheddar, Fontina or Gouda, grated (about 6 c.) 4 oz. Pecorino cheese, coarsely grated 1/2 c. raw skinless peanuts, finely chopped 1 lb. legume-based pasta, such as penne or ziti 4 T. unsalted butter 1 t. fresh rosemary, chopped 1 t. fresh thyme, chopped Peanut flour stands in 1 t. cracked peppercorns for AP flour to 1/4 t. red pepper flakes help thicken this 1/4 c. peanut flour gluten-free 2 c. milk noodle dish 1 T. Dijon or spicy mustard Method (1) Preheat your oven to 400˚F Mix the grated cheeses together in a . large bowl. Transfer 1/2 c. to a small bowl, mix with chopped peanuts, and set aside. (This will be your topping.) (2) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook until not quite al dente, about 7-8 minutes; drain, and set Gluten-free peanut maCaroni and CheeSe aside. (3) Melt the butter with rosemary, thyme, cracked pepper and red pepper flakes in a large pot over medium-high heat until the herbs are fragrant and the butter is melted, stirring occasionally, about 1-1 1/2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, whisk in peanut flour, and cook for another minute. Drizzle in 2 T. milk, and whisk in. Once the milk is incorporated, add a couple more T., and whisk in. Repeat until the peanut flour paste is somewhat loose, and then add the remaining milk, whisking until smooth. Increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, while stirring, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 3 1/24 minutes. Whisk in the mustard, and cook another 30 seconds. Add the grated cheeses, and stir until melted. (4) Stir the drained pasta into the sauce, and transfer to a 3-qt. casserole dish. Sprinkle with peanut-cheese topping, and bake until the topping is browned, about 20-25 minutes. Serve immediately. Wine pairing: The crisp Schug Chardonnay 2008 (California)—with stone fruits, spicy citrus and creamy oak—will bring this unusual take on mac and cheese to a new level.