Looking for a perfect summer dish for this weekend’s cookout? Here’s a recipe from The Fire Island Cookbook, by Jeff Jenssen and Mike DeSimone – and it’s a great match with Pinot Bianco. This new book features a collection of menus using seasonal produce, one for each weekend from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The Fire Island Cookbook can be purchased from Amazon.com.
Pesto-smothered Grilled Chicken Breast
Makes 8 Servings
The hot days of summer cause our garden to grow like wildfire. We usually have a bumper crop of basil: And what better way to use it, than to make delicious homemade pesto?
¼ pound Romano cheese, cut into 1- to 2-inch chunks
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, peeled
Juice of ½ lemon
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
4 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts, halved
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon plus lemon wedges for garnish
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Whole basil leaves, for garnish
1. To make the pesto: Place the cheese in a food processor and process until coarsely grated. Add the basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, and pepper. Process to a thick paste, 45 seconds to 1 minute. Use a scraper to push down the sides. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the oil through the feed tube until you have a thick liquid. Taste and add salt if needed. Transfer to an airtight container. Do not refrigerate if you plan on using the same day.
2. To prepare the chicken: Place the chicken in a glass baking dish and coat both sides with the oil, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of the pesto, the salt, and pepper. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
3. Preheat the grill. Grill the chicken for 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending on the thickness.
4. To serve, arrange the grilled chicken on a large serving platter. Spoon the remaining pesto over the entire platter. Garnish with lemon wedges and whole basil leaves.
St. Michael Eppan
Pinot Bianco; Alto Adige, Italy
Smooth and slightly racy, this 100 percent Pinot Bianco from the foothills of the Italian Alps is ideal with this earthy pesto.
From the The Fire Island Cookbook by Jeff Jenssen and Mike DeSimone. Published by Emily Bestler Atria Books, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Copyright © 2012 by The World Wine Guys, LLC. Printed by permission.