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Asparagus Tapas with Red Pepper Sauce

June 16, 2004

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

2 large red bell peppers, cored and seeded

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon salt

freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed

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1 sourdough or French baguette loaf

Julienned strips of bell pepper

Snipped fresh basil and shaved Parmesan cheese (garnish)

Coarsely chop bell peppers. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add peppers and garlic; cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until peppers are softened, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Place in blender or food processor and puree until smooth; stir in vinegar, basil, salt and pepper.

Cook asparagus spears in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes until crisp-tender; drain. Spoon red pepper sauce on a platter and arrange asparagus over sauce. Garnish with bell pepper strips, basil and Parmesan, if desired.

Serve with baguette slices.

Serves 4.

Nutrition information per serving: 135 calories, 5.3 g protein, 21.18 g carbohydrates, 5.55 g dietary fiber, 450 g sodium, 4.75 g total fat, 0.71 g saturated fat.

- Courtesy of California Asparagus Commission, www.calasparagus.com.

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