Pesto Chicken Caprese Salad
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This is a sponsored post for HemisFares™ brand that is available exclusively at Kroger family of stores. All opinions are honest and 100% my own.
Caprese salads are one of my favorite things, especially in the summer, and I made this amped up version which includes chicken and pesto.
It’s an easy dish that’s healthy, light, intensely flavorful, and ready in 20 minutes. I broke the recipe down into three easy-peasy sections. Pesto, chicken, caprese salad. Done.
I love pesto and with all the fresh basil this time of year, ’tis the season. It’s easy and comes together in a food processor in one minute. Homemade is so much better than storebought.
Simply combine fresh basil with parmesan, pine nuts (I’ve seen people sub walnuts, cashews, or pistachios), garlic, olive oil, and you’re in business. I used HemisFares Olive Oil from Ralph’s (or Kroger depending on where you live).
This velvety and flavorful estate-grown oil features Nocellara del Belice olives grown and harvested by the same family for over 100 years, available only from the province of Trapani in Sicily.
Cold-pressed within eight hours of being picked, the oil has notes of artichokes and almonds and a peppery finish that’s perfect for dipping, cooking, and finishing. For more information on HemisFares you can check out the website HemisFaresFinds.com or facebook.com/Hemisfares.
The chicken cooks in the pesto and it really helps the chicken stay tender, juicy, and adds so much basil-infused flavor.
The cooked chicken is tossed with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and lightly drizzled with balsamic reduction.
All the different textures and flavors complement each other beautifully.
You’ll likely have extra pesto which is great the next day on pasta, zucchini noodles, make a pesto pizza, or simply eat as a dip.
- 1 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves (from about one 4-ounce container)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 to 3 cloves garlic, to taste
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste if desired
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup HemisFares Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons HemisFares Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- about 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, diced into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1/3 cup pesto
- 1 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved if desired
- one 8-ounce container fresh mozzarella ‘pearls’ or small mozzarella balls, drained
- about 10 fresh basil leaves, torn in half
- 1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic reduction or balsamic glaze for drizzling, or to taste (homemade
- Pesto – To the canister of a food processor fitted with the S-blade, add the basil, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, lemon juice (helps pesto from oxidizing as quickly) salt, pepper, and blend on high speed momentarily to break ingredients down.
- With the motor running, drizzle in the olive until the pesto is smooth and emulsified; set aside.
- Chicken – To a large skillet, add the olive oil, chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high heat; stir and flip intermittently so chicken cooks evenly. When chicken is about 90% cooked through, add the pesto, stir to combine, reduce the heat to low, and allow the chicken to simmer in the pesto for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until chicken is done (internal temp of 165F).
- Caprese Salad – To a large bowl, add the chicken including the pesto/pan juices, mozzarella, basil, evenly drizzle with balsamic, stir to combine, and serve immediately. Dish is best fresh. Extra pesto will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 3 days, noting it will oxidize as time passes although the lemon juice helps to minimize this.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 793Total Fat: 51gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 33gCholesterol: 173mgSodium: 1454mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 15gProtein: 62g
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