Friday, August 15, 2008

Bruschetta Chicken and Pesto Penne

Two more dinner hits tonight, and they were quite easy, too. I've had a basil plant in a pot in my yard this summer (no garden this year, which I'm kind of bummed about now, because I really miss going out in the morning to see what Mother Nature has left me for a surprise). Anyway, with all that basil (I also have mint and cilantro), I wanted to make a couple things.

I came across this Grilled Bruschetta Chicken recipe in the Kraft Food and Family magazine (I love that thing. Honest, if you don't receive it, sign up. It is GREAT. And FREE. Can't beat that). It suggested pasta as a side, and since I had so much basil, I made Pesto, too. But not with Pine Nuts.

Because I live in the land of grocery stores where NO ONE KNOWS WHERE ANYTHING IS AND THEY NEVER CARRY WHAT YOU NEED.

Honest to Pete. I went to buy shallots yesterday and couldn't find them. The vegetable department guy said, "are those the skinny green onion things?"


Anyway, we have a farmer's market thing here in town that I hope to have time to hit tomorrow. It's only on Saturdays, so hopefully I have enough time to get over there.

With the chicken, I did the recipe just as they said, no changes there (well, I doubled it :-). I did grill it, and I'll tell you just the scent of the Sun-Dried Tomato Dressing was enough to make me want to eat the chicken ;-). The kids loved this one, and it looks REALLY yummy. Well, I know the picture looks kind of dark pink, but hey, I never said my skills were in photography ;-).
Basil Pesto
1/2 cup olive oil
2 ounces pine nuts (or if you live where I do, almonds), toasted
1/4 cup fresh Parmesan Reggiano cheese, grated (I chunk it and throw it in the food processor)
30 basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 pound penne, cooked and drained
Blend pesto ingredients in a food processor until they form a paste (if you need to add a little olive oil to thin it out, you can do that through the food processor spout as it's blending). Toss with pasta. Done ;-).
All around, a good and easy dinner. Yes, there was some chopping involved, but very little. My food processor did the pesto, and all I had to do at the stove was toast the almonds (you do that in a dry non-stick pan, by the way, and it only takes a couple minutes). The chicken was done in no time on the grill, with very little clean-up. I have bought prepared Bruschetta Chicken at my butcher shop here in town, and paid a pretty penny for them to do the work. Now that I have a great recipe to do it at home, I think I'll be saving those pennies ;-).


  1. heather W11:47 PM

    Heh. I didn't know what shallots were until about a month ago ... for shame, for shame. (They're AWESOME on pizza!)

    (Surely they'd know pine nuts! I used to sell them when I worked at Scotts back in the day!)

  2. I would hope they'd know what pine nuts were but considering my track record with them, trying to find things like sundried tomatoes and peanut oil and dark soy sauce and mushrooms that weren't button mushrooms (that recipe is a'comin'...another don't-get-me-started-I-just-substituted), and anything other than iceberg and romaine lettuce...

    There are days when I really miss living in Massachusetts. :-) I do love the Midwest, don't get me wrong, but on the East Coast, I could get about any ingredient in nearly every store. And in Massachusetts, I had this kick-butt vegetable stand store that was as big as a regular grocery store that sold EVERYTHING. What I wouldn't do for one of those here.



  3. Anonymous12:47 PM

    We have pine nuts here in Grand Rapids, MI (where I'm on exile from NJ where you can get everything and anything just like MA--where I will be next week dropping my dd off at BU for her first year, sob). The pine nuts are usually somewhere hidden in the veggie section...
    Shallots are iffy--sometimes I can't find those.


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