I had a ton of basil sitting in the fridge yesterday, on the verge of going bad.
Which was great, because that means PESTO!!
I didn't have pine nuts on hand (if you are one of those people who does - wow - I am impressed), but I did have blanched, slivered almonds.
2 cups fresh basil leave
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup almonds (without skin)
3 medium sized garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste
Throw everything except the olive oil in the food processor. Pulse it a few times, then turn it on and slowly drizzle the olive oil into the mixture as it blends. DONE.
So, dinner rolls around and I've got this pesto. And it's WAY too hot out for pasta. And I really want to grill.
I had chicken breast in the fridge - and thought I'd give the pesto a try as a marinade.
GRILLED PESTO CHICKEN BREAST
Four boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup almond pesto
olive oil for grill
Combine the chicken and pesto in a ziploc bag. Squish it around a bit to cover all the chicken. Allow to marinate for at least one hour, up to overnight.
Heat the grill to medium high heat. Brush the grill grates with olive oil. Place the chicken breasts onto the grill. Try to leave as much of the pesto coating on as possible, the almonds make a nice crust.
Don't overcook! Dry chicken is gross. But don't undercook, salmonella is grosser.
This chicken would be lovely with rice, or some nice roasted potatoes.
But I wanted a salad. I had fresh lettuce from the garden.
(2 meal sized servings, 4 side servings)
2 cups lettuce, torn - I like a softer lettuce for this, like green leaf or butter
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 english cucumber, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes - I leave them whole - you could slice in half
1/2 cup crumbled feta
10 pitted kalamata olives
Olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon, salt & pepper
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Dress with the olive oil, red wine vinegar, and fresh squeezed lemon. Season with salt and pepper to taste - remember, you'll get quite a lot of salt from the feta.
Top with the warm pesto chicken breast.