Monday, July 5, 2010

Homegrown Pesto with Broccoli and Chicken

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July!!  I’m relishing in the final hours of my long weekend…why is it even with long weekends I always wish I had just one more day to just do nothing!

So the 5-mile race… don’t you love how 1 year can make you entirely forget how hard something is??  Well it was HOT and HILLY and I just really had to listen to my body on this one, so I ended up walking a lot of the hills.  I still shaved a few minutes off my time though!  This race is not chip timed, so by my watch I finished in about 53:30, which is about 3-4 minutes better than last year.  I was NOT going for any sort of time so I would of been happy with any time…I just wanted to finish!  :)

This afternoon when we got home I was in the mood to make dinner and new exactly what to make after watering the abundance of basil in our garden!

Pesto!  I went out with my herb snips and gathered some fragrant green leaves



I also grabbed some mesclun lettuce :)  Maybe for lunch tomorrow


I also grabbed the only 3 baby orange cherry tomatoes that were ripe




Dinner started with marinating some Organic Free-Range skinless boneless chicken thighs in garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, and fresh parsley!  This sat for about 1 hour before grilling

IMG_0338  Then onto the Pesto!  I don’t measure out much but here are the approximate amounts:

Basil Pesto

  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese 
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2-3T pasta water
  • First, chop the garlic cloves in half
  • Heat about 3 T of the olive oil at medium heat and saute the garlic just for a minute or two…don’t brown it!!  This just takes the edge off the garlic a little.
  • Add everything to the food processor
  • Add the Basil


Process until you get a basil-y paste!  This is like a concentrated pesto paste :)


Either before or after making the pesto base, cook your pasta (I used whole wheat rotini).  When the pasta is done take a cup and scoop out some of the pasta water before draining.

Then add 2-3T of the water to the pesto and process…add water until desired consistency is reached.  DON’T ADD TOO MUCH!  You don’t want to dilute the pesto, just thin is out a little to make it more of a thick sauce…something you could still spread on a sandwich.  The pasta water also gives some creaminess to the sauce. 

This is what mine looked like after adding the pasta water… IMG_0353

Then I steamed some broccoli while Brian went out and grilled the chicken.


Combine pasta, pesto, and broccoli. IMG_0357

Chicken thighs are so juicy!IMG_0358


Pesto pasta + chicken + 1 tomatoIMG_0362

My pesto comes out different every time but this batch was particularly delicious!  Can’t wait for lunch tomorrow…this is going to be awesome cold.  I’m so excited to use more of my garden-goods!

I have a nice cool air conditioned bedroom waiting for me :)  Good Night!


  1. Congrats on finishing!!! That is wonderful that you shaved some time off. Homegrown foods are the best- the pesto looks fantastic. A perfect summer dinner. Ugh...Monday...wait...I mean Tuesdya

  2. OMG YES cold pasta salad is the best!! Hope you had a fun 4th, not gonna lie i am LOVING this heat wave :D

  3. That looks like a great dinner, perfect for summer. You do have an huge amount of basil, so jealous, I should have planted more in my herb garden.

  4. ha! no joke - I also picked exactly 3 bright orange cherry tomatoes the other day :)

  5. I just made homemade spinach pesto too!! i LOVE pesto esp in the summer its so pretty and flavorful!

    congrats on teh race thats awesome!!! stay cooool :)

  6. aah, you read my mind :) so jealous of your garden and home-grown basil! mine died this winter :(

    great to see you last night and meet brian! hopefully we'll get the chance to do it again soon :)