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Recipe: Chef Kevin's Pistachio Lemon Pesto

Chef Kevin Belton shares a fresh take on pesto using pistachios, lemon and arugula.

NEW ORLEANS —

Pistachio Arugula Pesto

  • 1 cup pistachios, unsalted
  • 2 cups arugula, packed
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped 
  • Zest from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup vegetable or grape seed oil 
  • kosher salt 
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Combine your ingredients in a food processor and blend until completely mixed and smooth.

Taste to see if you need more salt. Add more oil if desirable.

Keep refrigerated, in an air-tight container.

Chicken and Cheese Pesto Pockets

  • 1 pkg. puff pastry sheets 
  • 1 cup pesto 
  • 4–8 slices cheddar cheese, cut to size 
  • 2 chicken breast boneless, sliced thin and cooked 
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Shredded cheese for top, optional

Adjust oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Roll out each dough into a 12X8-inch rectangle. Slice into fourths.

Smear 1-2 tablespoons of pesto on the center of each puff pastry. Arrange chicken and cheese on the top half of each section of puff pastry dough. The amount of chicken and cheese used is according to personal preference. Brush egg on all four sides of each puff pastry section. For each pocket, fold the bottom up and over the filling.

Using your fingertips, lightly press edges of dough together to seal the pocket. Press a fork around three edges of each pocket to further seal the dough. Brush the top of each pocket with a bit of the whisked egg. Prick the tops with a fork so steam can vent out while baking. Arrange Chicken & Cheese Pockets on a pizza stone or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Top with shredded cheese if desired.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly golden.

Remove from oven. Allow chicken and cheese pockets to cool off a bit before serving.

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