It's quick! It's easy! It's healthy and more than anything, it's DELICIOUS! Pesto is a sauce that can be added to pasta, used as a topping on pizza and today it's featured in Pesto Chicken Salad. Traditional pesto ingredients include basil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. We're shaking it up a little and melding the sweet taste of basil with the fragrant mix of parsley and citrus found in cilantro.
1 c. fresh basil
1 c. cilantro (no stems)
1/3 c. walnuts
1 large clove garlic
1/3 c. Romano or Parmesan cheese (Romano is a little stronger)
1/4-1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
pinch of kosher salt
First of all, run the walnuts through your processor.
Next, add the basil, cilantro, minced garlic, cheese, salt, and drizzle a little oil in the processor. Pulse and add oil. Repeat until it takes the form of a thick paste.
Chop 2 c. of chicken (what you see above is the last of a rotisserie chicken) and add some chopped black olives and the pesto. Because I like texture, I added some minced celery as an afterthought. Blanched almonds would also work. They would add texture, taste and visually change the look of the salad.
This Chicken Pesto Salad is whipped up in about 15 min. and served on a toasted baguette or crackers.