Sunday, June 15, 2008

Pesto Chicken


Whenever a recipe calls for cilantro, I'm always a bit hesitant. I like the taste of cilantro, but I don't use it very much and find the smell of cilantro on its own to be somewhat unappealing. I recently bought some for a different recipe, which I'll be posting in the next little while, and figured that a cilantro pesto would be a great way to use up the remainder of my cilantro.

Since the theme for this month's A Taste of the Mediterranean is pesto, I'm submitting this recipe to the event.



Basil-Cilantro Pesto

1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 cup basil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic
2-3 tsp olive oil
1/2 lemon of lemon juice
1/4 cup plain yogurt
salt and pepper, to taste

I would have also added pine nuts or almonds, but didn't have any. Blend all ingredients (I added a couple of ingredients at a time and then added more to avoid spillage).





Is it normal for basil to be really tempermental? My basil plant doesn't seem to like being watered. It shrivels up a bit after I water it and doesn't come back to life until a few hours later. Plus, it's not growing very quickly.



The next day, I used half of the pesto to marinade two boneless skinless chicken breasts. I bbq'ed the chicken, first steaming them in foil and then finishing them on the grate. I used the other half of the pesto and mixed it in with farfalle pasta. Add a salad with feta cheese into the mix (this is not Greek salad...I repeat - not Greek salad) and it made for a great meal.

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25 comments:

noble pig said...

Oh yummy. I have never put cilantro in my pesto, I bet that's good.

Peter M said...

Does the water from the pot have holes to drain? If not, poke some.

Also, harvest basil leaves by snapping off the top leaves, that way they will grow outward, not upward and...a healthier basil plant.

Kristen said...

This looks like a delicious chicken recipe. And, your basil plant is looking lovely!

Rhyleysgranny said...

I love cilantro and basil. You have been given good advice from Peter m. If you put the pot in a pot holder that is a little to small for the pot. The water will drain out and the basil roots will crawl through the holes to the water in the bottom. I find this works so well and I have struggled to get them to flourish but they do now. I will be making this pesto. Yum Yum
xxx

Grace said...

regular pesto is good, but adding cilantro is a stroke of genius! i know most people either love it or hate it, and i'm definitely one of the former--i can't get enough!

Ann said...

You know... I used to dislike cilantro too... mainly because of the smell (I thought it smelled like rotten onions!), but I've become a total convert. You really can't make decent Mexican or Moroccan food without it.

Great-looking pesto! Your basil looks a lot healthier than mine, which is growing in my kitchen window sill!

Lisa said...

Great chicken!

Elly said...

I'm not really a fan of cilantro, though I can tolerate it in small doses. This actually looks like a great intro to it. I love the use of the yogurt for creaminess!

Emiline said...

I hate cilantro! I think I'm the only one. I've tried and tried to like it, but I can't. Maybe since this is mixed, I would enjoy it.

Kevin said...

A basil and cilantro pesto sounds good!

RecipeGirl said...

I was never a big fan of cilantro either. We used to go to this fish taco place for dinner when we were first married... and we'd order shrimp burritos with NO CILANTRO. For some reason I didn't like it back then. Now it doesn't seem to bother me, and I even add it to tacos now.

I've never thought to make a pesto with cilantro. I have loads of it growing in my courtyard so it's good to know I can make it into pesto to use it all up!

Dana McCauley said...

Cilantro is definitely an acquired taste. It's like tonic water that way , isn't it?


Nice looking meal!

Lori Lynn said...

I never knew so many people did not like cilantro. I have to take that into consideration planning dinner parties. For the record, I love it.
Farfalle & Pesto perfect match!

NĂºria said...

Can you believe I never tried cilantro? I looked at wikipedia and the "proper" word in english would be coriander... to me it looks like parsley, but it's not. Have I been cooking with cilantro instead of parsley all this time?

This looks like a monologue :D. And what I want to say is that your chicken must have been delicious whatever the taste of coriander is ;-)

kittie said...

What a lovely twist - luckily I adore cilantro, so would love to add it to my pesto!!

Also - great idea on adding the yogurt - this must make it a perfect marinade :)

Dhanggit said...

oh this is really yummy, i've seen great chefs here in france did similar pesto recipe with chicken, i cant wait to try your version!!

btw, im trying to send you my tried, tested and true entry..but the email address on the link seems not to be working. my eamil is bouncing back thanks :-)

Lori said...

I LOVE cilantro. I think it may grow on you. Have you ever had culantro- a stronger cilantro. It is shaped quite a bit different.

Anyway I was going to make a recipe for your event with cilantro pesto. But I guess it is back to the drawing board. I dont know maybe I will just do it anyway as it is a bit different.

Ah Giz, I guess we are on the same wave length.

Half Baked said...

Yumm thats a good looking plate of food!

familiabencomo said...

This looks great. We were at a restaurant Saturday that used a cilantro pesto as a dipping sauce for their pot stickers.... It was wonderful! So, of course I'm going to try this recipe. Thank you for sharing.

xoxox Amy

Neen said...

a) You have a basil plant. I'm jealous. b) I noticed that your link to your non-cooking blog is no longer up on your profile. What gives?

Kim said...

I love cilantro and have never had the two together. Sounds good, and your pictures are great.

Jessy and her dog Winnie said...

Looks delicious! I have never used cilantro in pesto before. I useually use basil, but my basil plant looks dead compared to yours lol.

Deborah said...

I love cilantro - and love the idea of a cilantro pesto. I bet this would be great on tex-mex food, too!

canarygirl said...

Cilantro pesto = one of my favorite things EVAH. Great entry! :)

Bellini Valli said...

I love pesto in all manner of ways. I found some garlic scapes at the framers market so will attempt pesto with those too:D

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