They are hard to ignore, those bright green chilies that can be spotted in almost every supermarket and grocery store right now in Southern California. In season from mid-August to September, the hatch chile can be found right now, in your local market, fresh and roasted. The term “Hatch Chile” actually refers to a variety of different chilies that are grown in the Hatch Valley in New Mexico. The one commonly seen at our grocery stores this time of year is the green Anaheim. Bright, sweet, slightly spicy and smoky, the Hatch Anaheim can be used in a variety of dishes.
I love to use the chiles in a grass fed beef chili or a pork-white bean and sweet potato stew as soon as the weather starts to cool down. I make a point to roast and freeze some fresh chilies exactly for that purpose. But right now, the end-of- summer heat calls for something lighter. Why not pair roasted hatch chilies with everyone’s favorite dip- hummus? Just buzz together some garbanzo beans, olive oil, lemon, garlic and tahini with some freshly roasted chilies and you have the perfect dip to bring to your Labor Day BBQ. Or, whip up a different and unique salad dressing in the blender with roasted chilies, lime juice, shallot, cilantro and avocado oil. Use it to dress a delicious summer salad of fresh corn, tomatoes and avocado.
Many stores offer chilies that have been roasted in house but If you can’t find them you can easily roast your own. Just place on a sheet tray under the broiler set on high for about 2 min per side, or until the skin is charred and bubbling. Place into a heat proof bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 10 min or until cool enough to touch. Peel skin away and remove the stem and seeds. They are now ready to use!