Beyond a sauce, pesto makes a fantastic binder for crispy-crusted chicken. It also serves as the creamy contrast to the crunchy Parmesan and panko topper. For a vegetarian option, sear portobello mushroom caps, top side down, until browned. Fill each mushroom with about 11/2 tablespoons pesto, sprinkle with panko mixture, and broil. The cherry tomatoes become intensely juicy when cooked whole over high heat. Serve with the pesto chicken, a simple salad, and some torn whole-grain bread. The tomato mixture would also be delicious over pasta, tossed with roasted Broccolini, or mashed and spread over crostini.
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 (6-oz.) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1-in. thickness
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side. Remove pan from heat.
Combine panko, cheese, and butter in a bowl. Spread pesto evenly over chicken in pan; top with panko mixture, pressing to adhere. Place pan in oven; broil 2 minutes or until browned.
Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium-high. Add tomatoes; cook 6 minutes or until softened. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and vinegar. Serve with chicken.