This pesto could not be easier to make, and it’s vegan, paleo, and of course gluten free! Pesto is a great way to use up herbs and greens in your CSA share. We like pesto so much we have a whole tab in our recipe index for it. The bunches of herbs in our CSA shares are typically much bigger than what you’ll find in grocery stores. One of the advantages to turning them into pesto is you can freeze them in containers or ice cube trays to use later. This spicy pesto is fresh and bright tasting, it would be great spread on fish, in quesadillas, on top of vegetable soup, in a potato, or anything you can think of! Start by roasting the unpeeled garlic and whole peppers in a dry skillet on the stove. Cast iron will work best.
After the garlic and chilies are roasted, remove most of the seeds from the chilies (or don’t if you like it really spicy!). After that blend the garlic, chilies, and cilantro in a blender or food processor (food processor is preferred). Stream in the oil while the machine is processing, start with 1/4 cup add more if necessary. Blend in the salt, taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Roasted Chili & Garlic Cilantro Pesto
3 unpeeled garlic cloves
2 serrano or jalapeno peppers
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/4 – 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon or more sea salt
Heat a small un-oiled cast iron skillet. Roast unpeeled garlic and whole chilies over medium heat, turning until lightly charred all over, about 15 minutes. Let cool, then peel the garlic and split the chilies lengthwise removing most of the seeds. Discard the stems and garlic peels. Transfer the garlic and chilies to a food processor, add remaining ingredients and pulse until smooth.
To Store: transfer to a bowl, cover and press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface, or cover surface with olive oil, refrigerate.