2.06.2012

Spinach Pesto Chicken

This is one of my FAVORITE dishes!  So simple, yet SO GOOD!!



During the summer, I had an amazing basil plant and made pesto all the time.  Since the warm weather is long gone and basil is not in season, I used spinach for the pesto this time...JUST as good!

This recipe yields a pretty decent amount of pesto.  It's usually more than I need for the chicken so I put the excess in an airtight container and freeze it.  It comes in handy when you want a quick, weeknight dinner and it freezes for up to 6-8 months!

This is also great served over pasta...just thin the pesto with a few tablespoons of hot pasta water before tossing with pasta.

(By the way, I know this isn't the best looking thing in the world, but I assure you, the flavor makes up for it!)

Spinach Pesto Chicken
Recipe and Photos by halftomatohalfpotato


INGREDIENTS
3 cups fresh spinach leaves
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and cooled
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
salt & pepper
1/2 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

DIRECTIONS
-Combine spinach, basil, walnuts, garlic, cheese, lemon juice, lemon zest in food processor or blender
-With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil and process to desired consistency
-Season with salt & pepper

-Preheat oven to 400ºF
-Lightly coat the bottom of a casserole dish with 2-3 tablespoons of the pesto
-Put the chicken breasts into the casserole dish on top of the pesto; season with salt & pepper
-Top the chicken with pesto and spread out evenly to cover all pieces
-Bake uncovered for about 40 minutes (or until chicken is lightly browned) and serve















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