Friday, September 3, 2010

Homemade Sunflower Seed Pesto

My basil plant is growing like crazy and I keep trying to think of new things to make with it.  I've used it in Caprese more than once and in Lemon Basil Grilled Chicken a couple times.

Earlier this week I decided I'd give homemade Pesto a shot.  I hadn't had it in quite a long time and I had TONS of basil, so I thought why not?   

Instead of using the normal pine nuts, cashews or walnuts, I substituted sunflower seeds in my version.  It was a nice little twist and I'd do it again.  I used it on turkey and provolone sandwiches I made for lunch one day with my parents during their visit.  

The ingredients in the food processor ready for mixing.

All mixed up and ready to be eaten.

4 cups fresh basil leaves chopped
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shelled sunflower seeds

1. Pour all ingredients in a blender or food processor. 
2. Blend until mixture becomes a paste. 
3. Put mixture in bowl and work in sunflower seeds. 
4. Cover tightly and refrigerate for future use. Can be stored for up to one week. 

1/4 cup cooking oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1. Combine oil and next 7 ingredients in a shallow baking dish. 
2. Add chicken, turning once to coat on both sides. 
3. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, up to overnight. Turn once while in the refrigerator.
4. Prepare Grill/Grill Pan and cook chicken, turning once, 3 to 5 minutes per side until chicken is cooked completely. 

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