Pumpkin Seed Salsa

from Julie Van Rosendaal

2014 Sept/Oct

A specialty of the Yucatán, this thick, rich salsa is based on toasted pepitas – green pumpkin seeds – blended with tomatoes and chiles. Adapted from a recipe in Saveur.


  • 1 c. raw green pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 c. sliced or slivered almonds
  • 2 Roma (plum) tomatoes, halved
  • 1 jalapeño or habañero pepper, seeded and minced (wear gloves!)
  • 2 T. sesame seeds
  • 1/4-1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
  • pinch salt
  • extra-virgin olive oil


Set a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pumpkin seeds and almonds and cook, stirring, until toasted and fragrant. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Put the tomatoes and chiles skin-side-down in the hot pan and cook until they start to blister. Add to the food processor along with the sesame seeds, cilantro and salt. Pulse until chunky, then drizzle in the oil until the salsa loosens up. Scrape into a bowl and, if you like, drizzle with a little more oil.

Serves 4 to 6.