This Roasted Fresno Pepper Pesto is a unique spread that’s perfect spread on a baguette or enjoyed with chicken, eggs, or stirred into pasta.
If you haven’t ever had Fresno peppers, you are missing out on one of life’s greatest little pleasures. Aside from my infatuation with poblano peppers, Fresno peppers are right up at the top of my list.
One word: pesto.
They make the most delicious, addictive pesto that brings just the right amount of heat to the tongue.
Spread on a baguette toasted in butter on the griddle, it’s downright delicious. Spread on a baguette, it’s not super heavy. It also makes the perfect meal for a hot summer day (especially when you are trying to keep the house cool!)
What are Fresno peppers?
Fresno peppers are available in summer and fall in my area of the desert Southwest. While they are shaped similar to a jalapeño pepper they are not exactly alike. Fresno peppers have wider shoulders and a hotter flavor; they can also be green or red.
Compared to jalapeño peppers, Fresno peppers are a tiny bit more tolerable on the heat scale. They are a medium heat with a little smoky sweetness to them.
Despite them not being quite as hot as jalapeño peppers, they can pack a punch to all of your favorite dishes – beef, chicken, soups, chicken or even dips.
Roasted Fresno Pepper Pesto
One of my favorite ways to use Fresno peppers is to ferment them into hot sauce. But I always try to keep a few back to make this delectable pesto – it’s my favorite reason to stuff my face with fresh bread.
Oh … fresh bread! Who doesn’t love bread??!
By the way.. .I truly can gorge on this pesto. It’s the perfect combination of deep flavor with a punch of heat. Not overly bearing, but enough to make you want to come back for more.
To get started on this pesto, roast your Fresno chiles on a baking sheet using your oven broiler. You’ll want to turn them frequently while roasting, ensuring that the skin starts to blister on each side.
While the oven works well for this, I find myself doing this part on the grill in the backyard.
Remove them from the heat and then (with gloves on), carefully remove the stem, then peel the skin off. Slice each pepper down the side and remove the seeds.
(Did you know that the seeds are not the hottest part of the chile? The membrane actually holds most of the heat!)
Enjoy this recipe for Roasted Fresno Pepper Pesto!
Roasted Fresno Pepper Pesto
- 1/2 C basil leaves washed and dried
- 1/2 C sliced almonds
- 1/4 C Feta cheese grated
- 3 ea garlic cloves minced
- 6 Fresno peppers roasted and peeled, stems and seeds removed
- 1/3 C olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 C spinach fresh, washed and dried
- Add the basil, almonds, Feta, garlic, peppers and optional spinach to the food processor using the blade attachment.
- Blend for 30-45 seconds until combined, then while the processor is running, add the olive oil ~ blend until combined.
- Add a tiny bit of lemon juice, salt, and pepper - blend to combine. Add additional seasonings as needed.
- Store in a covered jar until ready to enjoy. Pesto can be refrigerated and enjoyed over the course of the week.