Chicken Pesto and Sun -dried tomato Panini

Monday, April 26, 2010

When basil is fresh, I use it in spades. And while my basil garden is not in bloom yet, the weather makes me think it should be, so I buy it at the store...every week. This week I had a pair of chicken breasts begging to be used. I combined them for this recipe.

Everyone kind of had a different panini tonight. Cassie hates pesto and sun dried tomatoes (big surprise), mom and I don't care for cheese, so I was a short order cook tonight. You can really add whatever you want on here, but here was mine: two pieces of sourdough bread, brushed with olive oil and placed on a grill. One side slathered with dijon mustard, the other with homemade pesto (see recipe below.) Place julienne cut, drained sun-dried tomatoes and some sliced perfectly bbq'd chicken on one side. Let each piece of bread grill for a couple minutes, place one slice on top of the other, and press down until the insides are hot and marry (hmmm...). If you wish, you could add some shredded cheese to this concoction, but you run the risk of being a cheese whore, so decide at your own risk. I served this with grilled asparagus and a salad.

Homemade cheeseless pesto
You may or may not know that traditional pesto is made with cheese. It's easy, healthy and tasty to omit it.

Makes about 1/2 cup

2 bunches basil
3 cloves garlic
1 lemon, squeezed
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts (toast these in a skillet until the oils are released and are slightly brown)
salt and pepper to taste

Throw all ingredients into a Vitamix or food processor. Add more oil or lemon juice if the consistency isn't to your liking. You can keep leftover pesto in the fridge and use it on pasta, pizza, pita bread, etc.


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