Roasted Red Fresno Pepper Pesto Recipe

Roasted Red Fresno Pepper PestoThere are a handful of foods I like to have at the ready at all times:  cooked rice, homemade salad dressing, compound butters, cookie dough, and pesto — just to name a few.

Roasted Red Fresno Pepper Pesto

This is a thick, spicy and slightly sweet pesto that’s amazingly delicious . . . on everything!  Which is exactly why it should be “at the ready” all the time!  You never know when you might need to spice up your pasta, add a spread of flavor to bread, or turn your scrambled eggs into something very special.

The Great Pepper Cookbook Giveaway

This recipe is just one in my series of pepper recipes that I started earlier this week, when we made the Smoky Three-Pepper Corn Chowder.  I’m totally pepper inspired from The Great Pepper Cookbook: A Guide to Choosing and Cooking with Peppers — hot off the press this month from Melissa’s Produce.  Oh, and guess what?  I’m giving away a copy of the gorgeous hardcover book!

Don’t forget to stop and admire the beauty of the ingredients you’re cooking with — at every stage.

Roasted Red Fresno Pepper PestoAnd did you know the seeds are not the hottest part of a chile pepper?  It’s the membrane that holds the most heat!  So in addition to removing the seeds, if you want less heat, the membrane is easily removed with a paring knife.

Roasted Red Fresno Pepper PestoRecipe is below.

Roasted Red Fresno Pepper Pesto Recipe
Prep time
Total time
Please note that the prep time does not include roasting and peeling the peppers, which will add about 20 minutes.
Serves: Makes 2¼ cups
  • 4-ounces washed and dried, fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup toasted, sliced almonds
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 5 roasted, peeled and seeded Red Fresno peppers (Here's How to Roast and Peel Peppers)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoon sea salt
  1. Add the basil, almonds, cheese, peppers and garlic to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.
  2. Blend for about 30 seconds, and then gradually add the oil. Blend until it's as smooth as possible.
  3. Add the lemon juice sugar and salt and blend just to combine.
  4. That's it!
Of course feel free to adjust the amount of peppers you add, depending on the amount of heat you like. (Always taste a bit of the pepper before you add it!)
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  1. says

    I don’t find fresnos hot. I’m mean other than the red color. But I want to ask another question. You ALWAYS? have cookie dough around the house. How much do those boys (and all their friends) love you… GREG

    • valentina says

      I almost always do have cookies dough in the freezer — already shaped and ready for the oven. Though their only 8 & 10 now, the plan is that when they’re older, they’ll always come home for my treats! 😉

  2. says

    I am so excited – we just planted Fresno chiles, as well as Sandia and Guëros. What a fun and different pesto. If I kept cookie dough in the fridge, I would constantly be taking out hunks at a time and eating it as is. Cookie dough is a very dangerous business!

  3. says

    You are so right that we should really pause and admire the beauty of the ingredients that goes into constructing our food. I mean. . .look how stunning that charr is on those peppers. And I bet they really give that pesto a nice punch.

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