Sauces, dressings & jam

Roasted jalapeno cilantro pesto sauce


Roasted jalapeno cilantro pesto sauce is a flavorful sauce that can be used for tacos, fajitas or to give grilled salmon a bit of spicy heat.

A bowl of roasted jalapeno cilantro pesto sauce.
Roasted jalapeno cilantro pesto sauce

This little sauce came together after digging through the vegetable bin in the refrigerator to see what we had that would go nicely with grilled salmon. Most of what I make in my kitchen comes together with a little of this and a little of that with very little measuring in-between. Somehow – it all works.

Roasting jalapenos turns them into mellow, tangy almost sweet deliciousness. The heat is turned right down but the flavor is pumped up. This sauce would be great over just about any kind of meat, particularly for tacos or fajitas. It’s picture here with salmon.

Roasted jalapeno cilantro pesto sauce served over salmon.
Tasty over grilled salmon

I added just a 1/2 of a clove of garlic and it was almost too much for us. Adjust the garlic according to your tastes. Remember, raw garlic is strong. I recommend starting with 1/2 to 1 clove and bumping it up at the end if you feel you’d like more.

Pesto traditionally has pine nuts in it. I didn’t have any and I also didn’t think it needed it. I don’t think the texture would be the same and I wanted to keep it more light so as not to overpower the salmon. I also think it’s more versatile without. Store any left over sauce in the fridge for 3-5 days.

Ingredients in a food processor.
Ingredients for the sauce in the food processor

Roasted jalapeno cilantro pesto

Zesty and fresh roasted jalapenos and cilantro make a great sauce or topping for almost any kind of meat. Don’t forget the lime juice. A little acid brings this all together.

  • 3 to 4 roasted jalapenos
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 pinch salt & pepper
  • 1 to 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lime (juice)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Begin by cutting the jalapeno peppers in half and removing the stems and seeds. In a small bowl, coat them with a little olive oil (about 1 tbsp) and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the jalapenos onto a baking sheet and cook in the oven for approximately 10 – 12 minutes. Turn the peppers over once halfway through. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. Add the roasted jalapenos and remaining ingredients (except lime juice) into a small food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a small bowl and squeeze in juice from half a lime. Stir. Taste and adjust seasoning or lime juice as necessary.

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