PREP TIME: 15 minutes

COOKING TIME: 25 minutes

MAKES 4 servings

Rich, flavorful pesto and creamy mozzarella make a classic flavor combination and a winning weeknight dinner. Chicken breasts are the base for a layer of pesto that is topped with mozzarella then baked until golden brown and bubbling. An heirloom tomato and mozzarella caprese salad is a simple pairing.

CHICKEN

1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 14 ounces)

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons (60 ml) store-bought pesto (see Note)

8 ounces (225 g) fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

CAPRESE SALAD

3 large heirloom tomatoes

8 ounces (225 g) fresh mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons store-bought pesto

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

FOR GARNISH

1 handful of fresh arugula

3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally to make a total of 4 large, flat pieces. Place the chicken on the sheet pan and season evenly with the salt and pepper. Spread each chicken piece with 1 tablespoon of the pesto and top with the mozzarella cheese slices, dividing them evenly among the chicken. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through (it will be opaque throughout) and the mozzarella is golden and bubbling.
  3. Meanwhile, make the caprese salad: Wash and slice the tomatoes, then slice the mozzarella cheese. Alternate the tomato slices with mozzarella slices in a fan-shaped arrangement on four serving dishes. Drizzle with the olive oil and pesto and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve the cooked chicken with the caprese salad and top with fresh arugula and a sprinkling of pine nuts. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

NOTE

When buying store-bought pesto, be sure to check the ingredient label to make sure it is free of sugar. Make your own pesto if you are ambitious!

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