Pumpkin Seed Pesto

by Dec 15, 2009


I don’t know about you, but I hate to offend people with garlic breath, and, let’s be honest, it is pretty unpleasant to be on the receiving end as well. So, enter the all-purpose appetizer base that will keep everyone happy and tastebuds jumping during this festive season. I pestered this top secret recipe out of my friend, Annette. This “green goo” (as I lovingly refer to the stuff) is one of her staples from her connections at Bauman College, the holistic nutrition and culinary arts program over in Berkeley. I tweaked, tasted and documented, so I can officially call this recipe my own, but I want to thank Lauren Mendez, NE, NC (and Annette) for the original “Green Omega Spread”.
Pumpkin Seed Pesto
makes about 2 cups

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, the green ones, “pepitas” (soaked in water to cover + 1/4 teaspoon salt for 7 – 24 hours; refrigerate if soaking longer than 7 hours)

1/2 bunch Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, stems removed (mostly)
1/2 bunch cilantro
1/2 bunch basil leaves, stems removed (mostly)
juice from 1 lemon
8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1. Drain the water from the pumpkin seeds and discard the soaking water. Place pumpkin seeds, greens, lemon juice, olive oil and salt in the workbowl of a food processor or powerful blender (i.e. Vita Mix) and puree until smooth. Store tightly sealed in the refrigerator. Keeps several days.
Amy’s Kitchen Coach Tips
  • This pesto can be used as a dip for just about anything, that is why it makes such a great quick appetizer. Set it out with crispy rice crackers, pretzel sticks or veggies. The pesto pairs nicely with goat cheese and makes a great layered spread for baguette slices.
  • Try the pesto on hot whole wheat pasta for a healthy main dish.

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