30 January 2007

Cilantro-Serrano Pesto with Grilled Chicken and Penne

We've become big fans of pesto so I'm always on the look out for more recipes to try, and this one is a hit. I was a little leery of the ingredients at first, but after that first bite I was hooked. The hardest part of this recipe is grilling the chicken which is pretty easy, so you can only imagine how difficult it is - all in all its perfect for a weeknight or anytime you need a quick meal. We served it up with a nice mixed green salad and glass of wine.


1 1/2 C Fresh Cilantro
1/2 C Fresh mint
1/2 C Cotija Cheese
3 Tbl pecans
1 tsp kosher salt
3 garlic cloves
1 serrano chile, seeded and sliced
2 Tbl EVOO
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1/8 tsp black pepper
3/4 Lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
Cooking spray
6 C cooked penne
2 C sliced cherry tomatoes


Place cilantro and next 6 ingredients (through chiles) into a food processor and process until smooth. Slowly add EVOO until well blended. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in vinegar and black pepper.

Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat chicken with cooking spray and add to pan. Cook completely, about 5 minutes on each side. Cut chicken into bite size pieces. Add chicken and penne to pesto, mix to coat. Top with tomato slices.

***NOTE: I was a little hesitant about the tomatoes, but they add great flavor and work well with the rest of the flavors. Sooo yummy!

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