It’s July. Summer is real. The silver lining: fresh peppers abound.
Also, in spite of the heat, my (Thai) basil plants are thriving.
Poblano pesto was an easy call.
This recipe is a summertime nod to the most basic pesto formula — basil or other herbs, nuts or seeds, oil, salty cheese and garlic — and, as such, is easily adapted to any taste or season.
Now do the pesto jump.
Charred Poblano Pesto
(makes about 3/4 cup)
Half a poblano pepper, charred (grilled, broiled or charred over the flame of a gas stove) and chopped
1 cup rinsed basil leaves
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup olive oil, or more
3 Tbsp cotija cheese*
Tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 clove peeled garlic
salt to taste.
1. Combine all ingredients, except half of the olive oil, in food processor (a stick blender with a mini food processor attachment works perfect for this amount). Blend until the mixture is just starting to become smooth.
2. Add the rest of the olive oil . Blend until smooth, using less oil if you like a thick pesto, more oil if you like it runnier. Taste and adjust salt if needed.
3. That’s it. Have a cocktail and pretend this was exhausting. Serve with bread, rice, pizza, pasta or carb of your choice.
*I went with a less pungent alternative to Parmesan cheese here to give the pepper more of a starring role.