Even those who don’t have to work may not want to spend hours everyday in the kitchen. This is a dinner you can throw together in less than a hour, including shopping if you don’t have to wait in the check out line very long and assuming you have bread crumbs and pesto in the freezer at home. You can make it gluten free, low carb and it’s a nice company dish.
Caprese is a name that can be given to a dish prepared with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil leaves and olive oil — like a caprese salad, a caprese sandwich or caprese pizza — a style originating in Capri, an island in West Italy in the Bay of Naples.
- 4 small chicken breasts or 2 large ones
- 1/3 cup (about 3 frozen cubes) pesto (see below)
- 4 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese or gruyere cheese
- 4 slices of a firm but ripe tomato, peeled
- 1 small garlic clove minced
- 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs (for gluten-free see Nutritious Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread or for grain-free see Grain Free Rolls)
- avocado oil or light olive oil*
- salt and pepper
- grated asiago and/or Parmigiano-Reggiano (24 month aged parmesan) cheese
Place the chicken breasts in a zip lock bag and pound to an even 1/2″ thick. If the breasts are larger than you want, you can cut them in half first before pounding. Rub each side of the 4 pieces of chicken with avocado oil, sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper and lay in a casserole. Divide the pesto among the pieces and spread over the top. Lay a slice of mozzarella on each one, then a slice of tomato. Drizzle each tomato with a little oil and spread the minced garlic into the oil. Top the tomatoes with the bread crumbs. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 22 minutes. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
For a vegetable, sautéed onions, sweet peppers and summer squash is good with this.
- 2/3 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 4 ounce box of basil leaves (3 lightly packed cups basil leaves)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
Put pesto ingredients in food processor and process/pulse just enough so you can still see the pieces of basil and finely chopped nuts.
Pesto can be frozen in an ice cube tray. Once it has hardened, wrap each cube in plastic wrap and toss in a freezer bag. These frozen cubes thaw very quickly.
*Bertolli Extra Virgin olive oil is light in flavor and also Trader Joe’s Trader Grotto’s Sicilian (cold pressed) Extra Virgin Olive Oil which is a blend of three olives from Sicily, packaged in Italy in a beautiful bottle. It’s light and delicious. Store it in the dark and use up within a month.