Monday, August 13, 2012

Sunday Dinners: Pesto-Marinated Grilled Chicken Topped with Fresh Mustard-KissedTomatoes

Though my love for pesto is never ending, and I like to use basil in other ways, I did want to combine pesto with something other than pasta…and have been grill-inspired since, well, forever! But I confess that this is the first time I used pesto as a kind of marinade. The topping with the tomatoes came from another recipe I had seen. Well, my friends, it was a hit; seemed like my family and friends are now big fans of this dish.  I’m sharing the menu here with you, and more recipes to come. Oh—you may notice this is a bit tomato heavy… Well, if you’ve been to a local farmer’s market this week, you’ll know why: THIS is their season… They are just gorgeous. Enjoy!

Sunday Dinner  Menu:
Appetizer: Mango-peach and avocado salsa (more on that to come!) and fresh chips

Sliced Tomatoes with Figs, Toasted Pine Nuts, and Blue Cheese (inspired by Wednesday’s New York Times Dining Section—pics /recipe to come!)
Sautéed Yellow and Green Zucchini, with Red Onions, Tomato and Basil (Will share soon!)
Leafy green salad with light balsamic vinaigrette
Fresh Bronx-baked  seeded-Italian bread

Dessert: Apple-Raspberry Crumb-Topped Pie (Thanks, Lisa!)
Assorted Sorbets (Thanks, Susan!)

Grilled Pesto-Marinated Chicken with Fresh Mustard-Kissed Tomatoes 

Serves 10 to 12 

24 to 30 skinless, boneless chicken thighs and/or breast halves
Juice from 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)
20 cherry tomatoes or an assortment of your favorite garden or farmer’s-market fresh tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey Dijon mustard
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil 

Combine the pesto with the lemon juice. Rub the mixture over the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 3 hours. Start your grill (we use charcoal, but if you use gas, turn it to medium high).

Meanwhile, cut each tomato in half or into bite-size chunks and place them in a bowl. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustards, salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the tomatoes, stir, cover and refrigerate.

Then cook the chicken. Remove the excess marinade and grill the chicken, turning at least once, until golden brown and cooked through, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked chicken to a serving platter. Serve hot, or at room temperature, with the tomato mixture spooned on top, along with fresh basil leaves.


  1. Dear arlen, this looks like it will be a hit! Thans so much! Jeannine

  2. Great! Well, it was huge with my dad...and more! Do let me know how you like it--