I love pesto! I grow basil every year just so I can make tons of pesto. When the basil is about 20″ tall and begins to flower I cut it back and get busy! I rinse it and strip the leaves, removing any bad ones. Then I keep cramming it into the food processor and drizzling olive oil until it’s the consistency I like. Toss in a few pine nuts and some grated Parmesan or Romano and you’re done.
It is a great marinade for all kinds of fish, chicken and vegetable dishes. Using it as a base sauce works well, you can jazz it up with lemon juice or something spicy! Add it to cream cheese and you’ve got a great cracker spread. One of my favorites is to put a glob in a jar and shake it with vinegar, preferably white wine vinegar. It makes a delicious, light salad dressing.
With the first batch of the season I decided to try it slathered on a rotisserie chicken and it was awesome! I put a 4lb chicken on the rotisserie after I stuffed it with peppers and celery. Then I rubbed pesto all over it. After I had it on the grill I put a small pan of water under it ‘steam’ it. I had a few mesquite chips lying around so I tossed those in the water! Cook the chicken until it’s done, this is going to depend on how consistent your grill’s heat is and how large the chicken is. A restaurant quality thermometer comes in handy for this kind of grilling. Remember to let the chicken sit for a few minutes before carving it. The leftovers are great tossed with pasta and tomatoes!
Until next time… Release YOUR Bon Vivant and Savor Your Life!