It’s 14 days until Christmas and I am such a procrastinator when it comes to buying presents. D and I prefer to give gift cards or movie tickets since those are always appreciated and it takes the guesswork out of trying to figure out what to give a friend/relative, especially those that already have everything! I do make an exception for my godson Austin and his 2 sisters KC and Phoebe since I like to buy them something that they really want. After staring at different kinds of Skylanders toys (there’s so many of them!), makeup kits and clothes I was starving when I got home and I’m glad that I have this Pesto Chicken Salad ready and waiting for me in the fridge. I prepared everything a couple of days ago and just mixed in the pesto and stuffed my face with it.
I had some organic basil but no pine nuts in the fridge so I subbed raw walnuts toasted in a pan for a few minutes to give it a nutty flavor.
I also added artichokes and sun dried tomatoes which I both love to make this salad extra yummy. Rinse the artichokes in cold water to remove excess sodium then drain completely or spread on top of paper towels when in a hurry. (This will prevent the salad from becoming watery).
- 2 cups organic basil leaves, packed
- ½ cup raw walnuts, toasted
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup pesto sauce *
- 2 lbs chicken breast, cooked and cubed into 1" pieces
- 1-15oz can artichoke hearts, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced into strips
- To prepare the pesto: Add the first 5 pesto ingredients and pulse in a food processor for 15 seconds. Slowly drizzle in the EVOO and pulse for 30 more seconds until everything is mixed together. Set aside.
- To prepare the salad: Combine chicken, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl. Drizzle ¾ cup of pesto (add more or less depending on taste preference) and mix until the pesto coats each ingredient.
- Serve immediately or chill in the fridge to enjoy later.