Red Chile Pesto

Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.

Suggested Use:
Anchos are great in salsa, soups, enchilada and any sauce needing mild heat and chile flavor. Chopped, pureed or ground, they can be added directly to your recipes.

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2 large red sweet peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded
2 dried red Ancho or New Mexico Chiles, stems and seeds removed, and then softened in 1/2 cup boiling water
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced in 3 or 4 pieces
1/4 cup cilantro (coriander leaves)
2 Tbsp.. chopped Mexican type oregano
1 tsp. toasted and ground comino seed (cumin)
1/2 cup vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp.. toasted pumpkin seeds, pecans or pine nuts
salt to taste


Combine all the ingredients, including the soaking liquid from the dried chiles, into a food processor or blender. Process the ingredients until they are finely chopped and smooth. Add salt if needed. Thin with hot water or broth to create a more liquid consistency if desired. Use as a general seasoning for Mexican dishes, and also Southwest Asian cuisine.

Yields 2 cups of Red chile pesto.

Recipe by Peconic River Herb Farm.