During the summer months I grow a lot of different varieties of extremely hot peppers, so I’m always looking for ways to put them to use. While I’ve never seen a recipe like this, the end results were just stunning. Based on the traditional way of making a basil pesto, however I’m putting a fiery Caribbean twist to things. So you can expect the Caribbean sunshine (scotch bonnet peppers) to really shine through. Be warned.. this is not your grandma’s pesto.
10-15 Scotch Bonnet Peppers (mostly green ones)
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 lemon (juice)
Note! The flavors of the green scotch bonnet peppers are significantly different than fully mature and ripe ones. It’s not as fiery and there’s a freshness about the overall flavor. I did toss in a couple red one (ripe) to the pesto to give it a bit of speckled contract to all the green.
Toss in the pine-nuts and garlic in the food processor or blender and pulse for about 30 seconds. You do have the option of dry toasting the pine nuts first, but I honestly don’t see the need.
Then give everything else a rough chop and add to the food processor.
Go in with the olive oil and lemon juice and puree until relatively smooth. You can always adjust the texture to your own liking. Do keep in mind that while I used the seeds of the peppers, you can discard them to tone down the heat level a bit.
And just like that you’ve made an amazing Scotch Bonnet Pesto.. and you can tell your friends that Chris kinda invented this unique take on a peppersauce.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple weeks. I’ll have a wicked shrimp recipe using this Scotch Bonnet pesto coming up in the next week or so. Stay tuned.
Do you own a copy of my cookbook ?- The Vibrant Caribbean Pot 100 Traditional And Fusion recipes Vol 2