Summertime and fresh herbs and vegetables from the garden always makes me happy. The last couple of years our garden has been just pathetic. We tried everything to get our plants to grow, but they did poorly. Well, this year, we decided that maybe it wasn't just the soil, maybe it was the critters. So, we fenced it in. It is only mid-June and we have quite a nice variety of tomatoes, peppers, squash and basil flourishing in our back yard.
This inspired me to make homemade pesto to bake on Chicken and top our pasta. I didn't use a traditional pesto recipe with pine nuts because I didn't have them on hand. Instead I used almonds. I also am not fond of the bite of Parmesan cheese in Pesto, so I used grated Romano. I know just how I like things to taste and Pesto can have a very strong flavor. I like to soften it a little with the milder cheese.
Kathy's Almond Pesto
3 cups of fresh Basil leaves washed and patted dry
1/4 cup of slivered almonds
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup of grated Romano Cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
In a food processor, place all the ingredients except the olive oil; process them until everything chopped finely; add olive oil a little at a time (my processor has a spout that I can pour through so, I do a slow steady stream to blend the oil in well.); remove from processor and place in a covered container until ready to use.
Pesto Chicken Breasts
2 boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
2 tbs pesto
Place chicken breasts in a greased baking pan; spread 1 tbs of pesto over the top of each chicken breast; bake for 30 min @ 350, or grill on the BBQ for about 10 min. or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees.
Pesto Chicken Pasta
12 oz box Farfalle pasta cooked & drained
2 tbs Kathy's Almond Pesto
2 Pesto chicken breasts cubed
Mix together in a large bowl and serve with a little Romano cheese on top. Buon appetito!
Well, only two children would eat this meal. Pesto is a very strong flavor, and you either love it, or you don't! There is rarely a take it or leave it attitude toward Pesto.
We'll make this meal again for the adults. It's especially delicious the next day as a cold macaroni salad side dish. But, the kids won't approve of this meal on a regular basis.
Tell me what you think about my recipes -- I'd love to hear from you!
Remember: Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied. (Lk 6:21)