RECIPE – Jalapeno Pesto

by Henry Gould – Oct 18th, 2019

You thought pesto was only with basil??? Thankfully not! Pesto is a word that could describe many things (“pesta” means to crush, as pesto was originally made by pounding in a mortar and pestle), but is usually some sort of herb mixed with oil, and perhaps nuts. Most people know the classic pesto Genovese, which is crushed basil, garlic, pine nuts, parmigiano reggiano cheese and olive oil.

The basil version is great; we know it, we love it. Today we want to do something a little spicier to help liven up this Fall weather.

The below recipe is completely vegan, but should you feel the urge to add some grated hard cheese like parmigiano or pecorino, go right ahead.

This pesto will keep well in the fridge for a week or so, but better to use it quickly. Ideas for how to use it:

  • Spread on a sandwich
  • On small toasts with sundried tomato as a “bruschetta”
  • Tossed with cooked pasta
  • Spread on fish or chicken and baked in a hot oven
  • As a dip for vegetables
  • Tossed on roasted chickpeas
  • Stirred into a soup or stew at the last minute for a flavor boost
  • Mixed into cooked rice or quinoa

Jalapeno Pesto
  • 4-5 jalapenos, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped roughly
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 handful grated parmigiano reggiano or pecorino cheese (optional)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt

Place the jalapenos, almonds, onion and garlic (and cheese if you’re using) into a food processor or blender. Start with a 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil and blend. If the mixture isn’t blending well, add more olive oil until the mixture starts to blend. Don’t be scared of too much oil. This is a condiment, you won’t be eating the whole thing yourself (…hopefully!).

Once blended smooth, season generously with sea salt, taste and adjust as needed.

Store in a sealed container in the fridge. Use on any of the above applications.

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