Present Beth would like to give a big shoutout to Past Beth for freezing lots of leftover Purple Pesto. Back when I brought home this pretty Purple Basil from the farmers market in Baltimore, I decided to freeze the leftover Pesto I made using it into little individual Tablespoon packages. I wrapped them separately with some Plastic Wrap and kept them all together in a Sandwich Bag. This was a great thing to use to make a normal, boring chicken dinner into something fabulous!
Purple Pesto Chicken w/ Tomatoes
2 Chicken Breasts, sliced in half to make thinner and then into half again to make into smaller strips
2 Tablespoons Purple Pesto (recipe below, or store bought pesto sauce)
1 Large, Ripe Tomato
1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (I used reduced fat Cheddar, that was all we had)
1. Preheat oven to 400. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray. Place the raw chicken into the baking dish in one layer. Sprinkle with Sea Salt and Black Pepper. Put the baking dish in the oven. Let cook for 8 minutes.
2. Place the frozen pesto in a small saucepan with a few drops of Olive Oil. Heat, or open up your store-bought pesto. Slice your tomatoes to make 8 pieces or more if you’d like.
3. Remove the chicken from the oven, flip and cook for another 5-8 minutes depending on thickness of chicken. Take the baking dish out of the oven, add a little bit of Pesto to the top of each piece… then add tomato… and a sprinkle of cheese. Put back in the oven for another 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melty.
Purple Pesto Recipe:
2 Cups Purple Basil Leaves, stems removed, rinsed, dried.
1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced
¼ Cup – ½ Cup Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano (what I used) Cheese
¼ Cup – ½ Cup Sunflower Seed Oil (or other oil)
½ Cup Toasted Sunflower Seeds
Put the basil and sunflower seeds in the food processor. Blend for 30 seconds or until the basil no longer takes up most of the space. Add ¼ cup of Oil to start (you can always add more) and ¼ Cup of Cheese (again, you can always add more). Blend in the food processor until smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper, more cheese or oil if you need to.
We ate this dinner with a small salad on the side. It would go great with pasta if you’d like, but I really liked how light the meal was with just the chicken. What else should I make with my leftover Pesto?! Yum, yum, yum!