My basil plants are growing so well this summer, I've been waiting on them to get really thick and dense so I could harvest enough at once to make basil pesto. Of course, I love using my food processor, and I love pasta, chicken, etc. so making my own pesto is only logical :) Next year I hope to plant four times as many basil plants so I can make pesto whenever I want and hopefully have enough to freeze for later uses.
I started this recipe for chicken parmigiana rolls that I posted about last fall. Instead of marinara and basil leaves, I spread my homemade pesto over the inside of the flattened chicken breasts, then included a slice of fresh mozzarella. I rolled them up, secured them with toothpicks, then floured, egged, rolled in breadcrumbs and baked. This is a really great recipe for preparing chicken in a special way. Substituting different fillings makes it even more fun!
I found this pesto recipe on the internet and it turned out great. I had to half it because even with all my great basil production, I didn't have enough for a full batch.
Fresh Basil Pesto
Source: Simply Recipes
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Put the basil and the pine nuts into the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
Add the olive oil in a slow, constant stream while running the food processor. Stop periodically to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Makes 1 cup
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