Makes 2 large sandwiches
- 1cup fresh basil leaves
- 1cup flat-leaf parsley, stems removed
- 1large clove garlic
- 1/4cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1 1/4cups grated Parmigiano or Romano, divided
- 1/4cup good olive oil, plus a little more if needed for the pesto, and more for coating the pan generously
- 6chicken tenders or 3 thin chicken cutlets
- 1cup panko
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2eggs, beaten
- 1 short baguette or 2 crusty sandwich rolls
If using, make the Caponata below, then heat the oven to 200° F degrees. Add the basil, parsley, garlic, pine nuts, and 1/4 cup cheese to the food processor and pulse until it’s a fine grind. With the processor on, add the olive oil through the feeding tube and, once emulsified, stop the processor, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into a bowl and set aside.
Coat a skillet with a generous amount of olive oil and heat over a medium-high flame. Mix 1 cup of Parmigiano and the panko together, place in a shallow bowl (or a zip lock bag), and season with salt and pepper. Beat your eggs. Dip the chicken first in the egg and then in the panko-cheese mixture. Fry until golden brown on both sides and cooked through. (To make sure the chicken is cooked through, you can cut into the thickest part of one and peek — the flesh should be white and firm and the juices should run clear.) When done, remove to cooling rack set over a sheet pan, and place in the 200° F oven so they will stay warm.
Heat the broiler, spread the pesto on both sides of the bread that has been sliced in half. Place under the broiler until it becomes lightly browned, only about a minute. Or, alternately, you can use a skillet or grill pan.
Spread Caponata on the grilled bread, lay the chicken on top of the Caponata, and enjoy!
- 4Italian eggplants
- Olive oil
- 1medium-sized onion, chopped
- 2tender inner stalks of celery, chopped
- 1/2red bell pepper, chopped
- 3cloves garlic, minced
- 4fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeds removed, or 1 cup canned crushed tomato
- 4Peppadew peppers, chopped (if you do not have these, use more of the red bell pepper)
- 3tablespoons capers, rinsed
- 1/4cup kalamata or green olives (I use a little of each), pitted and roughly chopped
- Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
- Up to 2teaspoons sugar (add 1 teaspoon, taste, and add another if needed)
- 3tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450° F. Clean the eggplant, cut the tops off, and cut them in half lengthwise. On a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, brush a little olive oil, place your eggplant cut side down, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Chop the eggplant into bite-size pieces.
Set a fry pan over medium-high flame, coat the bottom with olive oil, add your chopped onion, and cook until translucent. Add the chopped celery and red bell pepper, and continue cooking until they are soft and have started to caramelize. Add your minced garlic and cook for a minute or so. Don’t let the garlic brown. Add your eggplant, tomato, Peppadews, capers, olives, crushed red pepper, sugar, and vinegar, and continue cooking until the mixture is thick. The eggplant will break down but that’s okay. This will take about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Let sit overnight. It tastes incredible when it has rested and all the flavors have blended together.