Recipe: Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

After dinner last night, my dad and I lounged around the kitchen table and discussed what I should make for dinner tonight. Unfortunately, the ensuing conversation was not exactly the most enlightening:

Me: Chicken, beef, pork…?
Dad: Chicken.
Me: Pasta, potatoes, or rice?
Dad: How about just veggies? Like cauliflower or peas or something!
Me: Um…okay. So, you want chicken and vegetables…what an exciting meal, dad! *Sarcasm*

So, the combination of chicken and vegetables gave me endless options, but I wanted to keep it really simple, so I decided to jazz up the chicken with some sort of sauce and pair it with vegetables roasted in a little extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled with some salt and pepper. I had a jar of sun-dried tomatoes in the pantry just begging to be put to good use, so I came up with a quick and easy recipe for sun-dried tomato pesto to top the chicken with. With just a handful of ingredients, I got a cup of bright, intensely flavorful pesto that was perfect with the sautéed chicken.

Serves: Makes approx. 1 cup
Prep. time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: No cooking required
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 small jar (approx. 7 fl. oz.) sun-dried tomatoes (I use Alessi brand, packed in olive oil)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • A few leaves of fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste (this helps thicken the mixture)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until the mixture is well blended, with no large chunks. Refrigerate any leftovers.

This pesto is packed with flavor and is perfect tossed with pasta, dolloped on top of chicken, or spread on a crusty piece of Italian bread as a crostini appetizer. It would also make a great sauce for a pizza or a spread for a sandwich.

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