Asparagus Stuffed Chicken
4 boneless chicken breast fillets (approx. 4 oz. each)
6 stalks fresh asparagus
¼ cup diced sweet onion
4 oz. goat cheese
1 tsp. black pepper
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp chopped fresh basil
Slice thickness of chicken breasts ¾ of the way through. Blend marinade ingredients together, place in Ziploc bag along with chicken breasts, shake till well coated. Marinate for 1-2 hours, shaking occasionally to evenly coat. Meanwhile, blanch asparagus and dice. Blend diced asparagus with goat cheese, diced onions and black pepper. Stuff each breast with cheese/asparagus mixture. Grill or broil for 15-20 minutes (until internal temp of chicken reaches 165 degrees). Serves 4.
Black Pepper Pasta with Asparagus
3 cups Penne Rigate pasta
10 stalks fresh asparagus, chopped into 1" pieces
1 tbsp. black pepper
¼ cup olive oil (preferably extra virgin)
3 fresh roma tomatoes, diced
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
2 tsp. chopped fresh basil
Blanch asparagus and set aside (do not rinse in cold water). Prepare pasta as directed on package, stirring black pepper into water before adding the pasta. Drain pasta, do not rinse, return to pan. Stir in tomatoes, olive oil and basil. Top with shredded parmesan before serving. Serves 4.
Variation: To turn into an entrée, add 6-8 oz. of thinly sliced grilled chicken or steak.
Asparagus with Lemon Butter
Approx. 1 lb. fresh asparagus, break stalks in half
1 lg. clove garlic, thinly sliced
1 tsp black pepper
3 tbsp. butter, softened
3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Blend lemon juice with butter until as smooth as possible. Blanch asparagus, drain. Saute asparagus and garlic in lemon butter until well coated (2-3 minutes), season with black pepper. Serves 4.