Farro, Cherry Tomato, and Asparagus Casserole

Farro, Cherry Tomato, and Asparagus Casserole

Create this vegetarian dish for your Easter meal.

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup main dish servings, or eight 1/2-cup side dish servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large shallots, chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups pearled farro or farro, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock or broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, shredded
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup half-and-half or light cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 6 ounces fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Fresh basil leaves

Directions:

  1. Grease or oil a 2-quart gratin or baking dish; set aside. In a medium saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add farro; stir to coat. Add stock, salt, and pepper. Return to boiling; Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes for pearled farro (or up to 45 minutes for regular farro) or until tender.
  2. Remove farro from heat. Stir in carrots, tomatoes, and 1/3 cup basil. Cover; let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Scrape farro mixture into prepared casserole dish; spread into a thin layer. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, cream, and cheese. Pour egg mixture over farro mixture; stir to combine.
  4. In a small bowl combine bread crumbs and parsley; sprinkle over farro and egg mixture. Place asparagus spears in a crisscross pattern over the top of the dish. Lightly coat the asparagus and crumb mixture with olive oil cooking spray.
  5. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes.
  6. To serve, sprinkle with fresh basil.

From the Test Kitchen

Nutrition Facts (Farro, Cherry Tomato, and Asparagus Casserole)

Per serving: 586 kcal cal., 24 g fat (10 g sat. fat, 2 g polyunsaturated fat, 9 g monounsatured fat), 223 mg chol., 745 mg sodium, 63 g carb., 7 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 27 g pro.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Mashed Potatoes

Yield: 4 servings

Mashed Potatoes
Photo by BHG.com

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 pounds baking potatoes (such as russet or Yukon gold), peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Butter or margarine (optional)

Directions:

In a medium saucepan cook potatoes and the 1/2 teaspoon salt, covered, in enough boiling water to cover for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender; drain. Mash with a potato masher or beat with an electric mixer on low speed. Add butter. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Gradually beat in enough milk to make mixture light and fluffy. If desired, serve with butter.

Nutrition Facts (Mashed Potatoes)
Per serving: 157 kcal cal., 6 g fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g polyunsaturated fat, 2 g monounsatured fat), 16 mg chol., 344 mg sodium, 23 g carb., 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 3 g pro.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

From the Better Homes & Garden Test Kitchen:

Garlic Mashed Potatoes:
Prepare as above, except add 4 peeled garlic cloves to water while cooking potatoes and substitute 2 tablespoons olive oil for the butter.

Per 3/4 cup: 171 cal., 7 g total fat (1 g sat. fat),1 mg chol., 303 mg sodium, 24 g carbo., 2 g fiber, 3 g pro.
Daily Values: 32% vit. C, 3% calcium, 6% iron.
Exchange: 1 1/2 Starch 1 Fat
 

Pesto Mashed Potatoes:
Prepare as above, except add 2 tablespoons purchased pesto along with the butter.

Per 3/4 cup: 212 cal., 11 g total fat (4 g sat. fat),17 mg chol., 402 mg sodium, 25 g carbo., 2 g fiber, 4 g pro.
Daily Values: 4% vit. A, 30% vit. C, 2% calcium, 5% iron.
Exchange: 1 1/2 Starch 2 Fat
 

Sour Cream and Chive Mashed Potatoes:
Prepare as above, except add 1/2 cup dairy sour cream with the butter. Stir 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives into the potatoes just before serving. If desired, sprinkle with additional snipped fresh chives.

Per 3/4 cup: 209 cal., 11 g total fat (7 g sat. fat), 27 mg chol., 356 mg sodium, 25 g carbo., 2 g fiber, 4 g pro.
Daily Values: 8% vit. A, 32% vit. C, 5% calcium, 5% iron.
Exchange: 1 1/2 Starch 2 Fat

Cheesy Chipotle Potatoes:
Prepare as above, except stir 1/4 cup shredded smoked cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (2 ounces) and 1 teaspoon finely chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce into potatoes before serving.

Per 3/4 cup: 215 cal., 11 g total fat (7 g sat. fat), 31 mg chol., 437 mg sodium, 24 g carbo., 2 g fiber, 7 g pro.
Daily Values: 7% vit. A, 30% vit. C, 13% calcium, 6% iron.
Exchange: 1 1/2 Starch 1/2 High Fat Meat 2 Fat
 

Vanilla-Fudge Marble Cake

Vanilla-Fudge Marble Cake
 Photo by A. Jones

Yield: 12 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 c. sifted flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. margarine or butter
  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 c. buttermilk
  • 2/3 c. chocolate-flavored syrup
  • Semisweet Chocolate Icing

Semisweet Chocolate Icing: In small saucepan heat 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces, 2 tablespoons margarine or butter, 1 tablespoon light corn syrup and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla over low heat, stirring until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.  Use immediately.

Slice of Vanilla-Fudge Marble Cake
Best of Both: Vanilla and Chocolate            Photo by A. Jones

Directions:

  1. Grease and lightly flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan.  Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat margarine or butter on low to medium speed with an electric mixer about 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low to medium speed 1 minute after each addition and scraping bowl frequently. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to beaten mixture, beating at a low speed after each addition just until combined. Reserve 2 cups batter.  Turn remaining batter into prepared pan.
  3. In a small mixing bowl combine chocolate-flavored syrup and reserved 2 cups batter.  Beat at a low speed until well combined.  Pour chocolate batter over vanilla batter in pan.  Do NOT Mix.
  4. Bake 350 degrees for 50 minutes.  Cool 15 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack.  Drizzle cake with Semisweet Chocolate Icing.
Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens™websiteBetter Homes and Gardens Cooking for Today, Cakes