Flaky Pastry Pesto Chicken

Ingredients

  • 320 g sheet of all-butter puff pastry , (cold)
  • 4 x 120 g free-range skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 heaped teaspoons green pesto
  • 400 g ripe cherry tomatoes , on the vine
  • 400 g green beans

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/gas 7. Unroll the pastry, cut it in half lengthways, then cut each half widthways into 8 equal strips. Flatten the chicken breasts by pounding with your fist until the fat ends are the same thickness as the skinny ends. Place them in a roasting tray, season with sea salt and black pepper, spread over the pesto, then lay 4 overlapping strips of pastry over each breast, tucking them under at the edges. Brush with a little olive oil. Lightly dress the tomato vines in olive oil, season and put into a second tray. Place the chicken tray on the top shelf of the oven with the tomatoes below, and cook for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden and the chicken is cooked through.
  2. Meanwhile, line up the beans, trim off just the stalk ends, then cook in a pan of boiling salted water for 7 minutes, or until tender. Remove the chicken to a board with half the tomatoes, squashing the rest in the tray and discarding the vines. Drain and toss in the beans, taste and season to perfection. Slice the chicken at an angle and serve on top of the beans, with the whole tomatoes.

Bacon White Cheddar Pesto Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) package elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup basil pesto sauce, purchased or homemade
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces grated white Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Focaccia With Pesto & Mozzarella

Ingredients

  • 500g strong white bread flour, plus some for dusting
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 7g sachet fast-action yeast
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
  • 125g ball mozzarella, drained
  • 5 tbsp pesto
  • Sea salt, to serve (optional)

Directions

  1. Put the flour into a bowl and mix in the salt. Mix the yeast into 325ml tepid water. Add the water and oil to the flour, then mix well with a plastic scraper or your hands. When most of the liquid is incorporated, use your hands to bring all the ingredients together into a ball of dough.
  2. Tip the dough out onto a worktop lightly dusted with flour and work it by pulling and stretching for at least 10 mins. Try to get as much air into it as possible. Put the ball of worked dough into a well-oiled bowl, cover with a little more oil and a tea towel or cling film. Leave to rest for 1 hr or so in a non-draughty warm spot, until doubled in size.
  3. Now stretch the dough out onto a baking sheet until it’s about 20 x 30cm. Leave the dough to rise again to about half as high again, about 30-40 mins in a warm draught-free place, loosely covered with a tea towel.
  4. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. When the dough has risen, press your fingers into it gently to make some holes. Bake for about 15 mins, then remove from the oven. Tear over the mozzarella, then bake for another 5-10 mins until golden and cooked through. Drizzle over the pesto and scatter with sea salt, if you like. Serve straight away.

Garlic-Grilled Chicken with Pesto Zucchini Ribbons

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
ZUCCHINI MIXTURE:
  • 4 large zucchini (about 2-1/2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Cheese & Pesto Whirls

Ingredients

  • 450g strong white bread flour, plus a little for dusting
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus a drizzle
  • 150g tub fresh pesto
  •  

    240g tub semi-dried tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped

  • 100g grated mozzarella (ready-grated is best for this, as it is drier than fresh)
  • 50g parmesan(or vegetarian alternative), grated
  • Handful basil leaves

Baked Pesto Chicken Thighs

Ingredients

  • 4 large bone-in chicken thighs, skin on, trimmed of any excess fat (1¾-2 pounds total)
  • ¼ cup prepared pesto
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. With your fingers, loosen skin from chicken thighs to make pockets, taking care not to tear the skin. Rub pesto onto the chicken meat under the skin. Also, rub pesto on the bottoms (but not on tops) of the skin of the chicken thighs. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper; place on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until golden and the thickest part of the thigh (away from the bone) registers 165°F with an instant-read thermometer, 20 to 25 minutes.

Spinach Basil Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Blend the spinach, basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a food processor until nearly smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary. Drizzle the remaining olive oil into the mixture while processing until smooth.