Published August 16th, 2023
This fresh and bright pesto packs a roasted pepper punch
By Susie Iventosch
Poblano Pistachio Pesto Photos Susie Iventosch
When you smell roasting peppers over a fire, you know there will be something delicious to eat soon. That aroma is so enticing! This time, it's a creamy and spicy, fresh and bright pesto made with both roasted and fresh poblanos, jalapeño, pistachios, basil, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, and Pecorino Romano. It makes the perfect condiment for grilled meats, and it's fantastic with just about any Mexican dish you can imagine. We love to serve it with enchiladas or even drop a spoonful into chicken tortilla soup.
You could make this pesto with either raw or roasted peppers, but I really love the combination because it gives the pesto the fresh vibrant characteristics as well as the smooth and smoky taste of the roasted peppers.
Don't worry if you think that roasting peppers will be a tedious task - roasting and then cooling them in a paper bag before peeling them. I have learned to take a great shortcut when it comes to roasting peppers. I remove the stems and seeds, grill them over medium heat on the barbecue for 2-3 minutes per side and then place them right in the food processor. No need to peel them at all, which saves a lot of time. You already know this if you've ever peeled roasted peppers!
For the fresh peppers, simply remove the stem and seeds and coarsely chop them before adding them to the food processor
This pesto stores for several days or up to a week in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
3 large poblano peppers, stem and seeds removed and cut in half lengthwise
1 jalapeño pepper, stems and seeds removed and cut in half lengthwise
1 cup cilantro leaves
8 large basil leaves (1/2 cup thinly sliced)
1/4 cup roasted, salted pistachios
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano (or Parmesan cheese)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Drizzle three poblano halves and one jalapeño half with a little bit of olive oil. Roast these pepper halves on the grill over medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side, just until beginning to brown and blister. You can do this directly on the grill, or in an aluminum pan. Remove from grill and cool for about 10 minutes. (This step can be done several hours or a day ahead of time.)
Meanwhile, coarsely dice the remaining half of the peppers, both jalapeño and poblano. Add pistachios to the food processor and puree until very fine. Add cilantro, basil and cheese and continue to process. Add both roasted and raw poblano and jalapeño peppers, garlic, salt and lime juice, and puree until smooth.
Finally, drizzle in olive oil and process one final time until smooth. There will still be some lumps, but mostly smooth.
Susie can be reached at This recipe can be found on our website: If you would like to share your favorite recipe with Susie please contact her by email or call our office at (925) 377-0977. Or visit

Reach the reporter at:

Copyright Lamorinda Weekly, Moraga CA