Jen’s Grilled Chicken and Asparagus with Pesto, Tomatoes, and Fontina

I love the combination of grilled chicken with a little fontina, pesto, asparagus, and tomatoes. Pesto’s traditionally made with pine nuts, but walnuts are cheaper and more nutritious, so I’m going that route. Hope you love it!

Jen’s Grilled Chicken with Asparagus, Tomatoes, Pesto, and a Little Fontina

Put into a blender and chop:
2 cups fresh basil leaves – Genovese, if your store or garden has more than one choice
¼ cup walnuts – extra points if you lightly toast them in a dry skillet until just fragrant
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

While it’s running, slowly drizzle in:
½ cup olive oil
Top with:
½ cup Romano or Parmesan
Whiz once more to incorporate. Set aside.

Go start your grill.

2 1/4 pounds chicken breastsThese can range in size. I bought a 4 ½ pound pack and there were only 5. That’s nearly 1 pound per chicken breast, which is pretty ridiculous. I trim away the excess fat and then butterfly each one into two halves. Now they’re about 8 ounces each, which is much more reasonable, but still very generous serving sizes. I’m only using half here, so I put the other 5 halves in a single layer in a gallon ziplock bag and stashed them away in the freezer for another night…
Season with salt and pepper (about 1 to 1 ¼ teaspoons total) Set aside.

1 bunch Asparagus – Remove the tough ends, drizzle and toss with olive oil, and set aside.

4 tomatoes – chopped

Fontina (optional) – grate a small pile with a hand grater. This has really rich flavor so just a little goes a long way. Keep it minimal.

Grill the asparagus and set aside.

Grill the chicken quickly to an internal temp of 165 degrees F. When it’s close, top with the fontina and close the lid to let it melt. Plate.

Top with:
A spoonful of pesto
A little pile of asparagus
A handful of chopped tomatoes.

Serve with grapes and hand to someone who makes life even better!


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My favorite knife. It’s a 7″ full tang Santoku. Full tang just means that the blade runs the full length of the knife. The blade and handle aren’t two separate components, so there’s no breaking point. I had a non-tang once and the handle and blade separated. It’s Wusthof, so I contacted the company and they asked me to send it to them and they sent a replacement. They are a great company! But, might as well get the best knife the first time if you can. I chose the Ikon handle design, which is wonderfully ergonomic. I have spent hours on a produce sculpture before and my hand was just as comfy at the end. It’s worth the pennies.

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Wusthof WU4176 Classic Ikon 7-Inch Santoku, Hollow Edge, Black