Pesto-filled baked potatoes

BAKED POTATOES ARE ALWAYS best cooked in the oven, if time allows, as the flesh is softer and the skin crispy, but cooking them in the microwave speeds up the process considerably.

Ingredients

Melting Mozzarella Topping

  • 1 jar Sacla’ Classic Basil Pesto
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan, grated, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • 1 tbsp chives, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 125g ball of Mozzarella

Chicken, Tomato & Spinach Topping

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 skinless chicken breasts, cut into small cubes
  • ½ jar Sacla’ Classic Basil Pesto, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • 4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • Large handful baby spinach or rocket leaves

Pesto Smoked Mackerel Topping

  • 300g frozen peas
  • 4-5 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 60g soft cheese
  • 1 jar Sacla’ Classic Basil Pesto
  • 3 smoked mackerel fillets, skin removed and flaked

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C. Prick four potatoes with a fork, rub with a little olive oil and salt and bake directly on the oven shelf for about an hour, depending on the size of the potatoes, or until soft in the middle.
  2. Melting Mozzarella Topping:
  3. Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the middle into a bowl. Mash the potato with the Pesto, Parmesan, cream, chives and seasoning, then return the mixture to the potato shell. Place the filled potatoes in a baking dish, tear over the Mozzarella and sprinkle with Parmesan. Return to the oven for 10 minutes, until bubbling and golden.
  4. Chicken, Tomato & Spinach Topping:
  5. When the potatoes are nearly ready, heat the oil in a pan, add the chicken and cook for about 5-6 minutes until browned and thoroughly cooked. Add the Pesto, cream, tomatoes and spinach or rocket and stir well. Carefully remove the potatoes from the oven and stand for 1 minute. Cut them in half and pile the chicken mixture on top. Serve with salad leaves and an extra drizzle of Pesto.
  6. Pesto smoked Mackerel Topping:
  7. Cook the peas in a large pan of boiling water for 2 minutes. Add the spring onions and drain immediately.
  8. Remove the potatoes from the oven, cut them in half and scoop out the middle into a bowl. Mix in the soft cheese and most of the Pesto. Gently stir in the peas and spring onions. Finally, stir in the flaked mackerel, trying not to break up the flakes too much. Drizzle with the remaining Pesto and return to the oven for 7 minutes, until bubbling and golden.
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