Basil and Pine Nut Pesto on Vegetables and Chicken

by Joanne on September 23, 2009

Our basil is beginning to feel the effects of cooler weather.  Instead of letting it be “one with nature”, or freezing it, or drying it, I decided to use it up in this wonderful fresh basil and pine nut recipe.  Ted said it was the most flavorful meal he has had in a long time.  Great compliment since we just came back from Newport!

This pesto is great over green beans with fennel and chicken and also fish. Don’t use too much on a delicate fish such as tilapia because the pesto flavors might overwhelm the light freshness of the fish.  Ready for dinner?

Basil & Pine Nut Pesto

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 4 TBS toasted pine nuts
  • 4 small garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup asiago and parmesan cheese mixed

Put the basil, oil, nuts, garlic, and a pinch of pepper and salt into the food processor, or use an immersion blender (which will take longer) to make smooth or to desired consistency.  DSC_1146

Stir in the freshly grated cheeses and add more oil if needed.  Set aside.

Green Beans and Fennel

  • 1 small fennel bulb, sliced    DSC_1148
  • 12 oz fresh green beans
  • 1/2 tsp tarragon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable broth

Heat saute pan over medium high heat. Add oil for one minute.  Add the fennel for 1 minute.  Add the green beans and saute for 5 minutes over medium high.  DSC_1150

Add the vegetable broth, tarragon, salt and pepper, turn heat down to medium low and cook for 4 more minutes. Top with a tablespoon of Pesto.


If you would like chicken or fish with the pesto, cook as follows.

Chicken:   You need about 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  Heat the skillet on medium and add 2 TBS canola oil.  When hot add chicken and saute on medium for about 6 minutes per side (depending on thickness of chicken breasts).  Salt and pepper the chicken when you turn it over.   When cooked, top with 1 to 2 TBS fresh pesto.



For baked fish, such as a delicate thinner fish as Tilapia:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Sprinkle fish with just a little drizzle of olive oil, about 1 tsp lemon juice per filet, salt and pepper. Put in the oven for about 18 minutes.  Serve with 1 teaspoon of pesto.


There is something for everyone but the pesto is a must. It offers such a fresh burst of flavor.  Let me know your favorite pesto recipe.  I don’t make pestos too often and would love to keep some of the easiest and most flavorful on file.

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