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Cover: Charlie's Chicken

Recipes with basil leaves

25Jun 12

Chicken and Pesto Tart

Chicken and Pesto Tart
Here’s a really lovely midweek meal to put together in no time and leave cooking whilst you relax or get on with other things. Chicken and pesto are always a wonderful combination. Sometimes I make this chicken and pesto open tart with green pesto, as in this recipe – but I also like to vary it with red pesto or aubergine and olive pesto when I can find it.

Another nice variation is to throw over a few walnuts or almond pieces 10 minutes from the end of the cooking time to add a little crunch.

We had friends over at the weekend who are about to go abroad to their homeland to get married (exciting times), and we served up this chicken and pesto open tart and tucked into it together, accompanied by a glass of sparkling white wine – now that we are getting into the warmer season. The tart is also really nice served with this lamb’s lettuce salad with serrano ham and apricots.

Chicken and Pesto Tart
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Here’s a really lovely tart to put together in no time and leave cooking whilst you relax or get on with other things.
Ingredients
  • 1 sheet of ready rolled puff pastry, defrosted
  • 4 tbsp green or red pesto
  • A little beaten egg or milk for the glaze
  • 225g chicken, skin and boneless, cut into thin strips
  • 60g frozen spinach leaves, thawed
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to season
  • Fresh basil leaves to garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Open out the ready rolled pastry flat onto a baking tray.
  3. Put the chicken pieces into a mixing bowl, spoon in the pesto and stir them together, coating all of the chicken. Spoon the chicken out onto the pastry, leaving a 2.5cm border filling free around each edge.
  4. Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves and arrange them on top of the chicken, with the cut side up.
  5. Arrange the spinach leaves around the tomatoes.
  6. Turn the pastry edges up and press the corners together to create a border casing for the tart.
  7. Beat the egg in a little bowl and brush it around the pastry border.
  8. Bake in the oven for around 20-30 minutes until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the pastry is nicely risen and golden brown.

 

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11May 12

Chicken and Avocado Baguette with Pesto Mayonnaise

Chicken and Avocado BaguetteHere’s a delicious sandwich to enjoy at home or out on a picnicChicken and avocado baguette with pesto mayonnaise makes for a simple lunch bursting with flavour.  Chicken is full of protein and is relatively low in fat.  If you are looking for an overall low-fat option, substitute your mayonnaise for a low-calorie version and either leave out the olive oil altogether, or use very little.

Avocado is said to be one of the human super foods.  It contains many different types of nutrients, including potassium, fibre, folic acid, B-vitamins and vitamins E, C and K, amongst other things.  There are more than 80 varieties of avocado, and it is also known as the alligator pear because of the texture of the variety called Haas, which can be used to make baked avocados.  Some avocados have a really smooth skin though, like the Florida variety.

It has been scientifically proven that the antioxidants beta-carotene and lycopene are more effectively absorbed with the help of the monounsaturated fat that is abundant in the avocado.

Ingredients:

  • White baguette
  • 2 chicken breasts (from a previously roasted chicken), sliced through the middle lengthwise
  • 1 avocado, skin and stone removed, and cut into 1 cm slices
  • 2-3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 4 tsp pesto
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • A few fresh basil leaves

Steps:

  1. Cut the baguette into quarters and slit open with a sharp knife.
  2. Mix the mayonnaise with the pesto in a bowl.
  3. Open up the baguette pieces and drizzle a little olive oil over both inner sides.
  4. Spread the pesto mayonnaise generously onto both inner sides of the baguette.
  5. Fill with the sliced chicken breasts and top with the avocado, finishing off with a twist of black pepper and a few basil leaves.
  6. Enjoy your baguettes straight away or wrap them in tin foil and take them with you on a picnic.  Don’t forget to keep them in a cool bag whilst you’re travelling or walking before you sit down to eat them.

Duration: 10 minutes to prepare. No cooking time.

Recipe for: 4

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