lesleystowe.com/blog » Recipes, entertaining tips, and more with Lesley Stowe

Masthead header

Finally! Asparagus, the jewel of Spring time vegetables, is once again making an appearance in our local markets and grocery stores. Of course, with global food transport it’s possible to get it all year round now, but nothing compares to the fresh, crisp flavour of asparagus locally grown and picked at the height of the season. This most versatile of veggies can be prepared in countless ways, but we thought we would start out with the most simple (and delicious!) preparation. Grilled just until the colour rises, these spears are best served hot with this cool, rich, creamy  dip: a perfect accompaniment to the first BBQs of the season!

Serves 6 – 8

  • asparagus spears, ends snapped and cleaned
  • 1 cup (250 mL) mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) grated parmesan
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 mL) minced fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 anchovy fillets, minced to a paste
  • black pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients except the asparagus in a bowl and combine until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving bowl cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat grill and grill asparagus until bright green and char marks are visible. Serve immediately.

nicole kruzick - May 16, 2012 - 5:39 am

This recipe is dynamite! I could lap up that aioli my itself its so good.

Holly Benson - May 24, 2012 - 9:22 pm

I have found a jewel in Vancouver and I invite you to the realm of southern California. I love your work.

I’ve made this recipe more times than I can count! It is absolutely delicious, easy as pie, and the perfect dish when you’re looking for a good midweek meal or you need to feed a crowd. The ingredients can easily be swapped around too – feel free to try carrots and potatoes instead of fennel and onions, or any other combination of your favourite vegetables. I always use the chicken thighs though as they manage to stay moist and juicy during the long roasting time while chicken breasts run the risk of drying out. I serve this with a wild rice or quinoa side, but any grain/starch you like will do.

Serves 8


  • 16 chicken thighs
  • 3 large cloves of garlic
  • 4 inches fresh rosemary sprig
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

The night before cooking, place garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse until a paste is made. Place chicken and paste in a ziploc bag and massage until the chicken is well coated. Refrigerate overnight.

Making the dish

  • 4 bulbs fennel, cored and cut into 1 1/2 inch wedges
  • 3 large red onions, cut into 1 1/2 inch wedges
  • 8 oz pancetta, cut roughly
  • 8 cloves garlic, split
  • 2 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 3/4 cups coarsley chopped fennel leaves
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a low-sided roasting pan large enough to hold the chicken and vegetables in a single layer, spread the ingredients out with chicken skin side up. Dab the chicken with any seasoning rub that may be left in the ziploc. Scatter the vegetables, pancetta, fennel seed, half the fennel leaves, and garlic amongst the chicken. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes basting with juices half way through.

Pour in wine and roast another hour, basting and turning chicken and veg periodically. Add a little bit of water if the juices look as if they are beginning to burn.

Raise the heat to 450 degrees and roast for 15 minutes with the chicken skin side down. Turn over to skin side up and roast for final 15 minutes or until the chicken is a deep golden brown.

Garnish dish with freshly cut fennel leaves and serve.


Faith Peckham - March 26, 2014 - 8:39 pm

2 hour cooking time for chicken thighs? I can’t believe they don’t dry out. I’ve never cooked chicken pieces that long but I’ll give it a try.

With spring break upon us we have the perfect opportunity to get the little ones (and the not so little ones) into the kitchen for some hands on fun. In my experience, children really love the art of baking – the measuring and mixing makes for fun, busy work and teaches them some great math skills at the same time. These muffins come together really quickly and are a healthy and delicious snack that the kids can feel proud they made and you can feel good about them eating. For an extra special treat, serve with sweet butter and our Three Fruit Marmalade!

ginger muffinsMakes 1 dozen

  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 1 cup whole wheat Flour
  • 1 cup organic white flour
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger, ground
  • 1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

Mix milk & molasses together. In a stand mixer or with an electric whisk, cream butter, sugar, and salt together. Add the milk & molasses – mix to combine. Mix in whole wheat flour.

Sift together white flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Stir the raisins & candied ginger into the dry ingredients. Pour in liquid ingredients and stir until just combined. DO NOT OVER STIR.

Fill muffin tins 2/3 of the way full and bake for 20 minutes. Seved warm they are extra yummy!

A b o u t   L e s l e y
t w e e t i n g
S t o r e   L o c a t o r