Monday, October 27, 2008

Poblano Pesto

It's nearly Halloween! Growing up in Oregon, we never carved pumpkins too far in advance -- damp above-freezing weather means quick rotting, after all. But now that we're in the home stretch, it's time to think about pumpkin guts, and toasting seeds. The Great Salsa Book has a great recipe to use up those seeds if you get tired of eating them plain.
Poblano Pesto

3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup canola oil
5 poblano chiles
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Toast the pumpkin seeds and let cool. Heat the canola oil in a skillet and when almost smoking, turn the poblanos in the hot oil for 45 seconds until blistered but not blackened. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let steam for 10 minutes.

Peel and seed the poblanos, place in a food processor with the toasted pumpkin seeds, and chop for 1 minute. Add the cilantro and blend for 1 minute. Add the olive oil, lime juice, and salt, and run for 30 seconds longer, or until smooth.

Serving suggestions: With pasta or rabbit.
Yield: About 2 cups.
Heat: 5.
Like any good pesto, it's going to turn out a vivid green. I'm much more tempted by the pasta suggestion than the rabbit. But, really, what I want to do is roast the pumpkin, and serve chunks of it with this salsa spooned over the top.

Or on toast.

I've focused mainly on tomato, chile, and corn salsas this week. The Great Salsa Book has tons of other types -- tropical, fruit, bean, garden, seafood, and exotic. It's a great little book to pick up for some sauce inspiration.

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