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Asparagus with bacon and goat cheese

Fresh asparagus

This recipe is the kind you stumble upon and when you make it, you realize how great it is. Your guests will agree. Ours did! It’s perfect for asparagus season. The recipe comes from Todd Dumke, former chef-de-cuisine of the Carolina Inn in our hometown of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

2 bunches of asparagus, trimmed and blanched
4 strips bacon, chopped
4 ounces goat cheese
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 lemon, juice and zest
Preheat your broiler. Then trim the bottom 1/3 of your asparagus. Zest your lemon and finely chop it. Next chop the bacon and sauté until crisp. Add asparagus and cook for 2 minutes. Then arrange the asparagus in a baking dish. Spoon the bacon and crumbled goat cheese over top of asparagus, drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with zest. Place the dish under the broiler and cook for 5 minutes, until the cheese is soft and lightly browned. Remove from oven, drizzle with the olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.

Sweet Life notes

P.S. Be creative, you can add your favorite nuts or substitute cooked ground Italian sausage for bacon or skip a few steps and make it vegetarian.

[Source: 2005 Carolina Guide to Local and Organic Food, p. 20.]