The other day I was at the pazar and smelled the basil wafted around as Iwas walking past the green grocers. I immediately knew we were destined to have pesto for dinner that night, which was a nice change. I am getting married this summer so between doing wedding planning and working, “cooking” dinner has consisted of asking my honey which kind of takeout he would like that night. I do usually do make fresh salad, though. The pesto had to be altered as pine nuts are VERY expensive here and I am allergic to walnuts—the normal substitute. Parmesan cheese is also VERY expensive. It is about $30 a pound so I used a hard aged cheddar which is parmesan-esque.
Garlic Chicken and Pesto
3 cups of fresh basil leaves,
1/2 cup grated aged cheddar cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or almonds
3 medium sized garlic cloves,
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Thrown the basil and the garlic in the food processor and pulse until everything has been ground up. Add the nuts and pulse a few times, then the cheese, then finally the olive oil. I usually add less oil and have more of a pasty pesto to save on calories. Mix in with hot pasta---serve with garlic chicken.
4 cloves of garlic
4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup of yogurt or Kefir
Press the garlic cloves in a garlic press or mince finely. Mix the kefir or yogurt with the garlic and enough water to make the consistently soupy but still thick enough to coat the chicken. Marinate the chicken for at least an hour this way ( I like to do it overnight.) I find marinating chicken in yogurt or kefir makes the chicken really juicy and tender.
In a non stick pan heat up a little olive oil and sauté the chicken until it is done. I like to cut the chicken breasts in half so they are not so thick and cook more quickly--serve with pesto pasta!