Seedy Pepita Zesto (Pesto)

Gobble up those seeds.

I hope you all had a properly decadent All Hallow’s Eve this week. The proliferation of jack o’lanterns in the streets reminded me of what a treat roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) always were for me after a carving session. I know a lot of people let them go to waste, which is a shame, because like other varieties of seed a person may thoughtlessly spit out rather than swallow, they’re actually really good for you. Rich in magnesium, zinc, iron, and antioxidants, they’re also a great source of protein and Omega-3s for veganic practitioners. They’ve been linked with greater heart health, are high in fiber, and may even help you sleep. Guys, they support prostate health if you want to protect your P-spot, and they can even improve your seeds. I consider them a superfood. The pepitas, I mean. At least in this case.

This particular recipe doesn’t involve roasting the seeds in their hulls, though – you’ll need the green hulled seeds (I don’t recommend hulling them yourself by hand unless you’re looking to make it a day-long Zen practice). I’d bought a bag in bulk one week and then had some leftover cilantro that needed to be used, so this recipe happened. I call it zesto because the addition of cilantro and lemon gives it some extra schwing. This is a slightly lusty pesto. I can’t be held to account if you serve it and somebody gets pregnant. I warned you about the seeds.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup firmly packed basil leaves
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2/3 cup green hulled pumpkin seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 6 T Nut Cheese Topping (vegan parmesan)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, more to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spread the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake them about 10 minutes or until they’re just lightly toasted and you can hear them pop and crackle. You don’t want to burn them or they’ll taste too bitter! Let them cool while you combine all of the other ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor or blender.

When they’re sufficiently cooled, add the seeds to the processor and pulse to make a fine chop, scrape down the sides of the bowl/jar, then slowly pour in the olive oil in a stream as you pulse (in a blender) or just process with the motor running (in a processor). You want just a little bit of texture, not a completely smooth and uniform green puree. For best storage, keep it in a glass container and store for up to a week. You can also freeze pesto in ice cube trays to have thaw-able portions in the longer term. Use as a spread on crackers or sandwiches, toss it with pasta, or whisk a few spoonfuls with some vinegar of your choice and/or extra olive oil to make a pesto vinaigrette. Relish that seedy goodness!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. mirandagualtieri says:

    Love the writing and it sounds good too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Madame le P. says:

      Grazie, bambina!

      Like

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