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Inspired by Rick Bayless's green chile adobo, this beautiful pesto goes great in a roasted chayote side dish, or warm salad. If you can't find chayote, use grilled zucchini or other summer squash, or even something like acorn or delicata squash. You can add 2 limes' worth of juice right to the pesto if you're going to use it all at once as a sauce for something. Otherwise, this keeps longer in the fridge if you omit it and add the juice of 1 lime to the chayote instead.

Recipe Summary test

20 mins
30 mins
50 mins
8 servings


Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
For the Pesto:
For the Chayote Squash Side Dish:


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Place serrano chiles and garlic in the hot skillet. Cook until blistered and browned on the outside and slightly softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Roast poblano over an open flame until blackened all over; wrap up in a paper towel to let steam.

  • Place serranos and garlic in a bowl; let cool until safe to handle. Peel the garlic and remove stems and seeds from serranos and poblano.

  • Place cilantro and parsley in a blender. Add peppers, garlic, salt, and olive oil. Pulse on and off, scraping down the sides if necessary, until puree is fairly smooth and slightly coarse. Store pesto in a bowl until ready to use.

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).

  • Halve and quarter chayote lengthwise. Remove seeds and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place on a lined baking sheet. Toss with olive oil and salt.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until chayote is just barely fork-tender and lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and add lime juice, 2 to 3 heaping spoonfuls of pesto, and goat cheese. Transfer salad to a serving dish and garnish with pumpkin seeds.

Chef's Notes:

Use any kind of green chiles you prefer.

Make sure you use a mild-tasting olive oil. Substitute with vegetable oil if desired.

Don't over-blend this. I've found that if you over-process an olive oil-based sauce, especially ones with garlic in them, it can get very bitter.

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of pesto. The actual amount of pesto consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts

243 calories; protein 2.6g; carbohydrates 6.4g; fat 24.1g; cholesterol 4.6mg; sodium 519.1mg. Full Nutrition