California Walnut Stuffed Beef Tenderloin Filets

California Walnut Stuffed Beef Tenderloin FiletsFire up your barbeque and impress your guests with this sumptuous main that is simple to prepare yet sophisticated in flavour and texture thanks to the California walnut pesto. It is best served with a side of grilled veggies and rice or whipped potatoes.

California Walnut Pesto:
1 cup well-packed fresh basil leaves, patted dry 250 mL
1/2 cup chopped California walnuts 125 mL
3 tbsp olive oil 45 mL
1 clove garlic, minced 1
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 50 mL
1/2 tsp ground black pepper 2 mL
1 tbsp butter, softened 15 mL
1 tbsp lemon juice 15 mL
Beef Filets:
4 pieces beef tenderloin filet (filet mignon), 2-inches (5 cm) thick 4
1/2 cup California walnut pesto (see recipe above) 125 mL
4 long slices naturally smoked strip bacon
(enough to wrap around filet)
1 tbsp olive oil 15 mL
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper

California Walnut Pesto: Combine basil, walnuts, olive oil and garlic in food processor. Pulse until well-combined, about 10 times. Add cheese, pepper, butter and lemon juice and pulse until mixture forms a paste, about 20 times. Set aside.

Beef Filets: Using a sharp paring knife, horizontally slit the side of each filet to create a pocket. Stuff each filet with an equal amount of pesto. Wrap one slice of bacon around each filet and secure with a toothpick. Rub olive oil over the filets just prior to cooking. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat on grill until meat reaches preferred doneness. Remove meat from grill and allow to rest 5 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Variation: In a heavy skillet, pan-sear meat over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes per side, until browned. Finish cooking in a 350°F (180°C) pre-heated oven until meat reaches preferred doneness.

Tip: Turkey bacon is a great, lower-fat alternative and still holds the filet together and keeps the pesto inside the filet while cooking.

PER SERVING: about 610 cal, 44 g pro, 47 g fat (13 g sat. fat), 3 g carb, 2 g fibre, 114 mg chol, 777 mg sodium. %RDI: 10% calcium, 40% iron, 6% vit A, 6% vit C.


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