Well hello! Long time no see. I can’t believe it’s been over a week since my last post. But what a week! For starters, Owen was sick and stayed home from school. I don’t know about other mom bloggers, but I basically find it impossible to test recipes or take photos while simultaneously being in childcare mode.
And then, last Sunday was our big move to our new house. We splurged on movers who packed everything for us. It was a total lifesaver, except now we have no idea where anything is. We can’t find any of our lamps or Owen’s beloved Paw Patrol sheets, and while I was able to locate my knives (thank goodness), things like my vegetable peeler, salad tongs, measuring cups, and about half of my spice cabinet (curry! vanilla extract! cumin!) remain a mystery.
All this is to say, things might be a little slow around here for the next couple of weeks as we try to get our life in order. Fortunately, I do have one or two recipes up my sleeve to share with you, like these pesto chicken polenta bowls with burst tomatoes. ↓↓↓
Whenever Owen is sick, I make him chicken soup. Even after shredding some into the soup, I’m always left with a bunch of extra cooked chicken. Not that I’m complaining! It’s a great blank slate for creating tons of different easy weeknight dinners.
For this recipe, I tossed some warm chicken with homemade basil pesto and chopped spinach. Then I piled it on top of cheesy polenta, and added some burst cherry tomatoes and toasted pine nuts to finish.
This is a simple, one dish meal that feels just a little bit elegant. Serve it with a green salad or some sautéed broccoli rabe if you like, but really it doesn’t need anything else. Not even a plate, which is a good thing, since we can’t find ours anywhere…
- 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups loosely packed basil
- 1/2 cup loosely packed baby spinach
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cups instant polenta
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken, warmed
- 1 cup chopped baby spinach
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- To make the burst tomatoes, preheat the oven to 400°F. In a small baking dish, toss the tomatoes with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until the tomatoes have softened and are beginning to burst, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, make the pesto. Combine the basil, spinach, garlic, pine nuts, salt, and pepper in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Transfer to an airtight container and stir in the Parmesan cheese. (Pesto can be made several days in advance.)
- To make the polenta bowls, bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a medium-large saucepan. Slowly whisk in the polenta. Cook, whisking constantly, until thick and just pulling away from the sides of the pan, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese.
- In a small bowl, toss the warm chicken with 1/2 cup of pesto, spinach, and pine nuts.
- Divide the polenta between 4 bowls. Top each bowl with 1/4 of the chicken mixture and 1/4 of the tomatoes. Serve warm.