Warm grilled chicken covered with fresh creamy pesto, fresh summer vegetables sandwiched between thick slices of rustic bread.
I enjoy a good homemade pesto but unfortunately most of the time they are made with parmesan cheese. For those who have to eat dairy free that means avoiding pesto. A few years ago at a wedding I had the most delicious pene covered in pesto. It was rich, creamy and full of flavor and surprisingly dairy free! The trick was cashews. Most pestos call for parmesan and pine nuts, when you use cashews in their place you won’t even notice the difference. After the wedding I headed home and came up with this creamy dairy-free pesto that I have been using on pasta, meats and sandwiches for the past three years. Since that day I’ve never looked back.
With summer gardens flourishing this delicious Italian sandwich is the perfect way to make use of the amazing vegetables found in your garden or at farmer’s markets.
- 2 lbs chicken thighs or breasts
- 2 Roma tomatoes thinly sliced
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- ½ white onion, medium sized, thinly sliced
- ½ cup [url href="http://nourishingsimplicity.org/2011/06/pesto-dairy-free-option.html"]dairy-free pesto[/url]
- ¼ cup [url href="http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2013/05/homemade-mayonnaise.html"]homemade garlic mayo[/url]
- ½ TBS freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 TBS olive oil
- 8 slices of rustic bread (such as sourdough)
- Place the chicken in a gallon freezer bag. Using a meat mallet, lightly pound the breast to a ¼ inch think. Start in the middle and slowly work your way to the sides.
- In a cast iron skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. You will know the skillet is ready if a small drop of water sizzles when added to the pan.
- Carefully add the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper. Cook until the bottom side is lightly browned. Flip over and cook opposite side until lightly browned as well, this should take about 8 minutes. Cut through one of the pieces of chicken to be sure it is not pink, if it is continue to cook until you can see no pink.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet and cut into 8 pieces.
- Toast the bread, spread the mayo and pesto over both sides.
- Layer the bread with the sliced onions, tomatoes, basil leaves and 2 pieces of chicken.
Katie Stanley is a dorm “mama” to 12 amazing girls ages 8 to 18 at a home and school for the Deaf in Baja California, Mexico. She and her “hijas” can be frequently found in the kitchen, the garden or making friends with their new chickens. She loves to read, hike the hills near her home and spend time with her girls. In her spare time Katie blogs at Nourishing Simplicity about nourishing foods, herbal remedies, simple living, the Deaf, raising her girls and encouraging other women in their walk with Christ.