By Gail Gordon Oliver

This is an easy yet elegant preparation that will impress your guests. The chicken takes on the flavours of whatever type of pesto and cheese you choose you use. Try it with Jodi Lewchuk’s Asparagus Pesto recipe on page 33.

Makes 4 servings

4 skinless boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 tbsp sundried tomato or basil pesto, or another of your choice
6 tbsp shredded or finely crumbled medium-hard or hard cheese, such as mozzarella, fontina or ricotta salata
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs, quinoa flakes or panko

Cover the bottom of a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Sprinkle both sides of the flattened chicken breasts evenly with salt and pepper. Place one chicken breast onto a large dinner plate, smooth side down and narrowest end closest to you. Using a pastry brush, spread 1 1/2 tablespoons of the pesto evenly over the surface of the chicken. Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of the cheese over the pesto, keeping a 1/2-inch border around the breast free of cheese. Beginning at the end closest to you, tightly roll up the chicken breast. Insert 4 toothpicks at even intervals along the flap of the rolled-up breast, inserting each toothpick horizontally just inside the edge of the flap and coming out the other side of the roulade that is facing away from you. Transfer the roulade onto the prepared baking sheet, toothpick side down. Repeat with the remaining 3 chicken breasts.

In a small bowl, combine the mustard and oil. Using a pastry brush, spread the mustard mixture evenly over the top and sides of each roulade. Carefully sprinkle 1 tablespoon of crumbs over the top and along the sides of each roulade, using your fingers to gently press the crumbs onto the sides.

Bake in a 375° F oven until the chicken is firm and no longer pink inside, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes before removing the toothpicks. Using a sharp chefs knife, slice each roulade on the diagonal, 1/2- to 1-inch thick.