Hey there. How’s it going today?
Its Sunday, so make sure to take time just for you. You deserve to rest before charging into next week.
Today I want to share with you all another recipe for Pesto. I have shared a dairy free version in the past (here). This Pesto recipe does have parmesan cheese in it, but you could always substitute nutritional yeast in its place.
If there is one trick that I learned for a really good flavored pesto, it is to measure the basil directly in the food processor bowl before doing anything else. I think this is so much easier than trying to stuff basil into traditional measuring cups. Then just dump the basil out, put in the blade and off you go.
Basil leaves are very tender, and bruise easily. It is important to remember when making pesto to combine your garlic, cheese, spices and coconut butter first. After it is well combined, then you can add in the basil and oil.
Now we can add the basil to the food processor bowl. Add in only half of the oil, place the lid on, and pulse several times to get it started. I used the “puree” function on my food processor. If needed, drizzle in more of the remaining oil to create a thick paste.
The color of this pesto is so pretty, and it has so many complex flavors. Bite from the basil, a spiciness from the extra virgin olive oil, tang from the lemon. Really, so yummy.
Can you guess what we made with it?
All you need to do for the best Pesto Chicken is rub that delicious thick paste all over the chicken. Make sure to get it under the skin as well.
Let the chicken marinate in the pesto for 3-4 hours before cooking. The longer you let it marinate, the better it gets. Cook the chicken over indirect heat until 160’F, then let rest loosely covered at least 20 minutes before slicing. In the words of Alton Brown, “Your patience will be rewarded.”
- 2-3 large cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 oz parmesan cheese, freshly grated (or 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast for dairy free)
- 1 tsp seasoned salt mix
- 1 Tbsp coconut butter
- zest and juice of 1/2 medium lemon, about 2 tsp juice
- 2 1/2-3 cups fresh basil leaves, cleaned
- 3-4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Measure your basil in the empty food processor bowl. Set premeasured basil to the side.
Place blade in processor bowl, now add in garlic, cheese, salt, coconut butter and the zest and juice of the lemon. Pulse until the garlic and cheese are well chopped, and all ingredients are mixed.
Add in the basil, and half of the oil. Either using the “puree” function, or pulse until you have a thick paste. Add in remaining oil as needed.
This makes a very thick pesto. For use with pasta, save some pasta water, to create your sauce.
Smear on meat, or add to sauces as desired.