This meal was a good concept gone slightly awry. Grilled skinless, boneless chicken breasts marinated in garlic-infused olive oil and topped with pesto ingredients: fresh basil from my garden, shaved parmigiano-reggiano, toasted pine nuts and a squeeze of lemon.
Sounds good, yes? Yet, in the end, it was just ok. It was tasty enough, but not special. Less flavorful than I'd hoped. I was reminded that there's a reason you blend pesto ingredients together... the flavors mingle and meld and get all delicious and friendly-like.
Luckily, I had great tablemates: my mom and stepdad (husband is on the road this week). We paired the chicken with a nice green salad with tomato, avocado, basil, pine nuts, more parmesan (echoing the chicken) and balsamic vinegar, and ended the meal with fruit salad. And, we cooked and ate our meal at one of our beautiful lakefront parks, in the company of the sailboats and freighters.
I'm all for riffing on an original, and I'll keep trying until I get this one right. Next time, I'll experiment with mixing some of the ingredients before cooking the chicken instead of just layering them on separately once it's off the grill. Do you ad lib in the kitchen? Would love to hear about your successes and mishaps.