I love pesto… any kind really! This is a new one for me- I had never had (or even heard of!) jalapeno pesto before and thought, “Why not?!” Sounded delish to me! And since I was making a Latin-inspired dish anyway (sweet potato & black bean tacos), I wanted a pesto with a little spicy twist- a little extra freshness & zing. It’s not as spicy as you might think; since the seeds are removed, it really picks up more of the actual fresh pepper taste than it does the heat. Added with garlic, it’s the perfect blend of spicy, savory, and refreshing. Being Spring, my herb garden is booming- I have both basil and cilantro growing like crazy right now- so I made it a basil-cilantro-jalapeno pesto (the cilantro adds a light refreshing quality that goes amazingly well with the jalapeno). I used pine nuts, since they’re pretty classic in pesto, but if you don’t want them (or don’t want to afford them), you can use walnuts, macadamia nuts, or any nut really (though I do think pine nuts are pretty tasty in this).
Pesto is very easy… you just have to choose your ingredients, throw them in a machine, and mix ’em up!
1/2 cup basil
1/2 cup cilantro
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tbsp jalapeno, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Place ingredients in a food processor and blend
(I mix everything except for water first, then
drizzle it in until I get the consistency/texture I want)
Once smooth, check for seasoning and adjust as needed