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Author Notes: NOTE: I posted this recipe ages ago, but am adding the pesto-making step now that I have a ton of fresh basil and, well, this week's contest is basil! The recent warm weather and approach of spring, plus the fact I had a great caprese salad recently at a restaurant, puts me in mind of one of my favorite light lunch or dinner entrees. Pretty enough for a party, or the chicken can be cooked ahead and refrigerated for assembly into a quick lunch or dinner. I wish I had a photo to show you.... —Kayb
- 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast filet
- 4 tablespoons ricotta or mascarpone
- 4 tablespoons pesto
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 2-3 tomatos, sliced
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella
- splash of balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
- 1 cup basil leaves, plus more for garnish
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350. Pound chicken breast to about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness, and trim into a rough rectangle. Pat dry. Mix mascarpone or ricotta with pesto and spread to within 1/2 inch of edge of cutlet. Starting from a narrow end, roll into a cylinder. Tie with kitchen string in two places.
- Dry outside of roll and brush with 1 tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Roast in oven for about 25 minutes; remove, tent, and allow to cool. When completely cooled, either refrigerate until needed or slice in 1/3 inch slices. There should be 6 to 8 slices.
- Choose tomatos about the same diameter as your chicken pinwheels, cut cheese to a similar size. Slice each about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Assemble salads by making a stack of a chicken pinwheel, a cheese slice, a tomato slice, and repeating until you reach the size you wish. Then lean the log to one side, causing the slices to form a neat little layered row, Or arrange them however you wish.
- Drizzle with remaining EVOO, add a splash of balsamic, a little more salt and pepper if you want. I love to garnish it with an assortment of olives and a chiffonade of basil leaves.
- TO MAKE PESTO: Crush garlic and roughly chop walnuts. Combine in food processor with lemon juice and enough olive oil to make a rough, loose puree. Add basil and process until blended, adding olive oil slowly until the texture you want is achieved.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe Using Fresh Basil