Since the tomato pesto here is made in a processor or blender, you have to make more than the small quantity needed. Use leftover pesto later in the week on grilled vegetables or fish. It's also a delicious addition to sandwiches, not to mention pasta.
For this grilled dish, with its smoke, salt and acidity (from tomatoes), choose a wine that's simple and refreshing. Among the many options are Italian red wines with good acidity such as Chianti Classico or dolcetto.
- 2/3 cup reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes, or sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 Cornish hens (about 1 1/4 pounds each), halved
Light the grill. In a food processor or blender, mince the tomatoes and garlic with the Parmesan, salt, pepper and lemon juice. With the machine running, add the oil in a thin stream and continue whirring until the ingredients are well mixed.
With your fingers, loosen the skin from the breast meat of each hen, leaving the skin around the edge attached. For each half hen, spread 1 tablespoon of pesto under the skin and 1 tablespoon over it. Cook the hens over moderate heat, skin-side down, for 12 minutes. Turn the hens and cook until just done, about 12 minutes longer.
Creamy polenta topped with a dollop of the extra pesto will be perfect with the hens. Also, since the grill is already hot, you might throw on some vegetables -- peppers, zucchini or asparagus.
Tip: To reconstitute sun-dried tomatoes, place them in a small pan, cover with boiling water and cover with lid. Let them steep for about 5 minutes and then drain.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
467 calories; 36g total fat; 133mg cholesterol; 669mg sodium; 5g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 31g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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