Greetings from sunny San Francisco!
This is the last stop on my tour de thesis research, and I’ve already learned SO much. I’ve met with a wealth of brilliant people who are doing amazing things in their cities, and I’ve observed some incredibly well designed and activated public spaces. But I’ve also witnessed the effects of exclusion in public space and the displacement in communities. Individuals and organizations are doing some really wonderful things to build more socially, environmentally and economically resilient cities, but we’ve still got such a long way to go. These travels have just reaffirmed my passion for Sustainable Development though—the work is extremely challenging but someone’s gotta do it.
When I haven’t been conducting research, I’ve pretty much just been working out and eating. A lot. I’ve had SO MUCH GOOD FOOD. Here are some highlights.
This chorizo and plantain arepa + a marg. From Teote in Portland.
This brisket, chicken, ribs, cornbread, collards and yams with marshmallows. From Union Pig & Chicken in Pittsburgh.
This Lechon Asado and tostones. From Conflict Kitchen in Pittsburgh.
And speaking of good food, what really brings me here today is this fabulous recipe that I’m sharing! Peaches are in season, which in my mind means EAT ALL THE PEACHES WHILE THEY’RE STILL JUICY AND DELICIOUS!
And pesto is always a good idea, so I though hey, why not make some pesto chicken, sauté up some peaches in the same skillet, and then drizzle it with reduced balsamic vinegar?! It was definitely one of my better ideas.
- 1.5-2 lbs boneless skinlees chicken thighs*
- 2-3 peaches, sliced into eigths or tenths
- 2 Cups fresh basil
- 2 Tbsp pinenuts or walnuts
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- ½ C olive oil
- ⅓ cup parmesan or romano cheese, finely grated
- ⅔ cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp honey
- First, make the pesto. Place all the ingredients except for the oil and cheese (basil-lemon juice) in a food processor or blender, and process until coarsely chopped. With the processor running, slowly add the olive oil, and process until smooth and creamy. Stir in the grated cheese by hand.
- Using a large bowl or ziplock bag, cover the chicken thighs in pesto (you might have some pesto leftover depending on how much you want to use). Place in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes (an hour or two is preferable) or up to a day in a tightly sealed container.
- While the chicken marinates, make the reduced balsamic: in a small sauce pot, heat the balsamic vinegar and honey over high heat. Stir well, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, and let simmer until it it syrupy and has reduced to about ¼ cup (about 7-8 minutes). Remove from pot and set aside to cool.
- Heat a large skillet over a medium flame with a touch of oil. Add the pesto marinated chicken thighs to the skillet, and let cook about 5 minutes per side. Cut into the thickest thigh to check for doneness, or use a meat thermometer (it should be 165 F for chicken).
- Remove from the skillet and let rest while you cook the peaches. Add the peaches to the same skillet and sauté them in the pesto chicken drippings. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and starting to brown (about 5 minutes).
- When it's time to serve, drizzle the reduced balsamic over the chicken and peaches!