Spring means Ontario Asparagus!

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Asparagus

Asparagus and Goat CheeseTHUNDER BAY – Food Now – Spring means asparagus! Ontario offers some of the best asparagus in the world. Our friends at Foodland Ontario share this tasty great tasting treats for your enjoyment. Starting with an appetizer and then adding this spring treat to the main course, you can have your long awaited servings of fresh asparagus.

Asparagus Stuffed Chicken Breasts

English: Name:Asparagus officinalis
English: Name:Asparagus officinalis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Serve this easy but elegant recipe with a green salad or potatoes and maple carrots for a special spring celebration.

Preparation Time:  25 minutes
Baking Time: 25 to 30 minutes
Broiling Time: 2 to 3 minutes (optional) 
Serves 4                                                   

Ingredients:
  • 4 boneless skinless Ontario Chicken Breasts (5 to 6 oz/150 to 170 g each)
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh tarragon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 slices Ontario Provolone Cheese
  • 16 Ontario Asparagus Spears, trimmed (about 8 oz/250 g)
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) butter, melted 
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
AsparagusPreparation Instructions:

Place chicken between waxed paper; pound with mallet to flatten to 1/4-inch (5 mm) thickness.

Combine mustard, tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste; spread evenly over rough side of each breast. Top each with cheese slice and 4 asparagus spears.  Roll up chicken, letting asparagus protrude on both ends; secure with toothpicks.

Place, seam side down, on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  Brush with a little of the butter.  Toss crumbs with remaining butter; pat onto stuffed breasts.  Sprinkle with pepper to taste.

Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes to brown topping if desired.  Remove toothpicks and slice to serve.

Tip:  Allow toothpicks to protrude on side of stuffed chicken for easy removal after baking.

Nutritional Information:

1 Serving

  • Protein: 39 grams
  • Fat: 13 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 9 grams
  • Calories: 313
  • Fibre: 1 gram
  • Sodium: 540 mg

Asparagus and Goat Cheese Brushcetta

The topping for this appetizer can be made ahead, but assemble the bruschetta just before serving.  The topping is also delicious tossed in a green salad.

Preparation Info:

Preparation Time: 30 minutes 
Cooking Time: 5 minutes 
Makes 24 appetizers

Ingredients:
  • 8 oz (250 g) Ontario Asparagus, trimmed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes 
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 oz (90 g) Ontario Goat Cheese
  • 24 crostini (toasted baguette slices), cooled

Preparation Instructions:

In pot of boiling salted water, cook asparagus until tender, about 3 minutes; drain. Rinse or plunge into cold water; drain again.  Pat dry with paper towel.

Chop into small pieces and place in bowl.  Add garlic, oil, tomatoes, and salt and pepper to taste.

Spread a little of the cheese onto each crostini; top with asparagus mixture.  Serve immediately.

Crostini: Cut baguette into 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick slices and place in single layer on baking sheet.  Bake in 400°F (200°C) oven for 5 to 6 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Nutritional Information:

1 Serving

  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Fat: 3 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 5 grams
  • Calories: 52
  • Fibre: 0.5 grams
  • Sodium: 80 mg
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