Toasted pumpkin seed salsa
Welcome to the first full week of October! Is it just me or is gourd mania is in full effect? I feel like everywhere I look there’s a pumpkin or a squash staring back at me. Stalkers. It’s also time to start thinking about Halloween costumes. Granted, it’s been years since I dressed up but I have this dream of jumping back on the foxy bandwagon and going as a Sexy MUNI Driver (for those of you not in San Francisco, MUNI is our public transportation). I just can’t seem to secure a MUNI uniform and trust me, I’ve tried.
In honor of this time of year where sexiness and pumpkins meet, I’m bringing you a recipe that I like to think of as guacamole’s mysterious and seductive cousin: toasted pumpkin seed salsa. Also know as sikil p’ak, this dip comes from the Yucatan and is chock full of pumpkin seeds which happen to be a great source of protein, magnesium, copper and zinc. If you’re planning to perform any pumpkin to jack-o’-lantern plastic surgery you’ll have plenty of them lying around. I used raw, hulled pumpkin seeds in the recipe below, but it should work just as well with the unhulled seeds from your pumpkin’s innards. Let me know how it goes in the comments below!
Toasted pumpkin seed salsa recipe
1 1/4 cups raw, hulled pumpkin seeds
2 roma tomatoes cut in half
1 jalapeño cut in half
1/2 yellow onion, cut into 2 quarters
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup lime juice
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
In a dry heavy bottomed skillet, toast the pumpkin seeds until they turn visibly darker/golden brown and begin to pop. Remove from skillet and set aside and set aside to cool.
Using the same dry skillet toast the coriander seeds until they become fragrant and begin to darken. Remove from heat and mix with 1/4 cup of the toasted pumpkin seeds, a small drizzle of olive oil and a generous pinch of sea salt. Set aside.
Place tomato halves, jalapeño halves and onion quarters on a clean sheet tray with a lip and broil for about 10 minutes or until they begin to soften and slightly char. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Once they’ve reached room temperature, add the remaining 1 cup of pumpkin seeds to a food processor and grind them into a course powder. Next add the cooled, charred veggies, lime juice, cilantro, salt and blend. The resulting texture should be thick and slightly chunky.
Top the salsa with the toasted pumpkin and coriander seeds and serve with tortilla chips or veggies. Hold on to any leftover pumpkin and coriander seed mix as it’s delicious on its own as a crunchy, salty snack.