Hello my darling bunnies , and welcome to another delicious entry here in the Fat Glam kitchen.
With the sun shining outside and the leaves are finally bursting out of their buds- summer is officially on its way while we enjoy the lovely fresh beauty of Spring.
Spring time signals one very special thing in particular here in the Canadian Maritimes…. Fiddleheads!
These little green provincial treasures are wild-growing young ferns that are rich not only in taste, but antioxidants, Omega 3 and 6, iron and fiber. Similar in taste and texture to asparagus and spinach, these little guys get their names by resembling the curled wooden scroll of fiddle.
Nick and I were out for a country drive enjoying the sunshine this weekend, and we happened across a road-side purveyor of fiddleheads. Selling $10 and $20 bags from coolers in the back of her truck, she smiled and complimented my dress, and recommended ways to prepare the tasty little green treats. I was so content at how simple, beautiful and perfectly small-town Canadian the whole experience was; I knew I had to share it with you all.
Arriving home with our little green treasures, I was tempted to make something extravagant and fancy. However, I decided I wanted to keep things simple and traditional- preparing them with only a little butter, garlic and salt.
Chicken and fish go the best with fiddleheads, and I decided on chicken. I had some freshly prepared basil pesto left over so I got creative, and came up with an unbelievably delicious baked breaded chicken breast, stuffed with pesto and kalamata olives. I haven’t had breaded chicken in many, many months since being diagnosed with Celiac disease, however, after some tips from some of my gluten-free readers, I decided to pick up some rice bread crumbs…. Thank you so very much for your recommendations, the chicken turned out so most, crispy and tender!
Nick helped me in the kitchen by thoroughly cleaning the fiddleheads, and cutting off any little browned ends of the stems.
I prepared the chicken then let my oven work its magic while I cooked the fiddleheads.
The chicken was a snap. Simply slicing half way through the center of the chicken breast you create a spot for the pesto and olives, then after a quick dunk in the bread crumb mixture it is ready to be placed into a greased baking dish.
Enough gabbing, onto the recipes!
Lenora’s Gluten-Free Breaded Pesto and Kalamata Olive Stuffed Chicken Breasts
What you need:
For the chicken:
-2 boneless,skinless chicken breasts.
-1 ½ cups gluten-free rice bread crumbs
-1 tablespoon garlic powder
-1 teaspoon mustard powder
-1 teaspoon dried oregano
-Salt and pepper
-1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
-1/3rd cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
-3-4 tablespoons basil pesto ( My recipe for fresh pesto is below, but you can also purchase it pre-made, I really like President’s Choice house branded basil pesto in a pinch!)
For the pesto:
2 cups fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
½ cup olive oil
4-6 fresh garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until well combined. Chill, keeps for about 3 days in the fridge.
What to do:
-Preheat oven to 375.
-combine bread crumbs, spices and salt and pepper together in a bowl and mix well.
-Lay out a piece of parchment or wax paper, and dump a generous amount of the breadcrumb mixture.
-Slice into the middle of the chicken breasts leaving about a half an inch on each end, and being careful not to slice all the way through to the bottom. You only want to create a little groove deep enough to spoon in some pesto and olives.
-Spoon in a few spoonfuls of pesto into the chicken. Stuff in some kalamata olives as well. The amount of pesto and olives will depend on your palate. Keep in mind, some of the pesto will absorb into the chicken, so being generous won’t hurt.!
- Dip the chicken breasts into the breadcrumb mixture and coat well. Be carefull not to spill the filling out of the chicken. I used a spoon to almost pat on some crumbs in any place.
-Transfer chicken into a greased pyrex baking dish, and top with fresh grated parmesan cheese.
-Cover with tinfoil and bake for approx 40 minutes.
Traditionally Prepared Fiddleheads Sautéed with Garlic and Butter.
What you need:
-A generous amount of fresh fiddleheads!
- A few tablespoons of butter (or more to taste, if you’d like!)
-3-5 cloves of fresh garlic.
-Salt and pepper to taste
What to do!:
-Wash fiddle heads well, and remove any browned edges from the stems.
-Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Dump in your fiddle heads and boil on high for about 10 minutes.
-Drain fiddleheads well.
-In a large frying pan, heat your butter and garlic. Sautée fiddleheads, mixing well for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
Plate and serve!!
This is one of the very best meals I’ve made lately. Nick and I enjoyed it wholeheartedly, and had a wonderful food-buzz afterwards. The fiddleheads were crisp and buttery. The chicken was savory , tender and juicy, with a flavor burst from the tangy pesto and olives. All of the flavors complimented each other perfectly.
The only thing left to say, is to put these recipes at the very top of your list of “Things to make this Spring!”
Yours in food and glamour,
Lenora Le Noire