About 2 inches long and fire-engine red when fully ripe, the medium-hot-sweet Fresno chile (named after the California town) has thinner walls than a green jalapeño and also offers more vitamins A and C, plus B vitamins and anti-inflammatory capsaicin. Choose glossy, plump, fully firm chiles; refrigerate up to five days. Remove seeds for less heat, and don’t touch your eyes after handling.
Poppers.Because they’re not thick, Fresno chiles don’t require steaming or charring. Slit lengthwise, remove seeds, and stuff with plain goat cheese, queso fresco, or cashew butter blended with minced cilantro, garlic, and lemon zest. (Fats tame chiles’ heat.)
Margaritas.Liven up fiesta libations by floating bright-red Fresno chile rings in drinks, or freeze slices in ice cubes before adding to tumblers.
Burgers.For patties with punch, stir chopped red onion and minced Fresno chiles into a black-bean, beef, lamb, or turkey burger mixture before grilling.
Sweets.Chocolate and chiles make natural partners. Add minced Fresno peppers to chocolate brownie frosting (or even the batter!), or sprinkle onto chocolate ice cream with toasted pine nuts for an exotic treat.