Pumpkin Seed Salsa 4.000

(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Apr 16, 2019

This pureed, Yucatan-inspired salsa is complex in flavor, due to the nature of its prepared ingredients. It is almost always used as a condiment, due to its intensity.

Serve with tostadas before or with a meal, or as a snack with vegetables.

Make Ahead: The salsa can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

4 - 8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-8 servings; makes about 2 cups

  • 1/2 cup hulled, raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 3 fresh plum tomatoes
  • 1 tomatillo, husked and rinsed
  • 1/4 of a small white onion
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 fresh chile de arbol or Thai/bird’s-eye chile pepper
  • 4 dried guajillo chile peppers
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or more as needed


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spread the pumpkin seeds on a small, rimmed baking sheet. Arrange the tomatoes, tomatillo, onion, garlic and fresh chile on a separate rimmed baking sheet; cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake the pumpkin seeds for about 3 minutes, or until lightly toasted; bake the tomato mixture for 10 to 15 minutes, until the ingredients have softened. Uncover to cool for a bit.

Meanwhile, lightly toast the dried guajillo peppers in a dry skillet or over an open flame for about 30 seconds on each side, taking care not to burn them (or they will turn bitter). Place in a bowl and add enough water to cover; let sit for about 5 minutes and then drain, reserving the soaking liquid. Remove the seeds from the hydrated peppers.

Combine the toasted pumpkin seeds, the rehydrated guajillos, the softened tomato mixture and salt in a blender; puree until smooth. Add a little of the reserved soaking liquid, as needed, to achieve a hummus-like consistency. Taste, and add more salt, as needed.

Serve at room temperature.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “Tu Casa Mi Casa: Mexican Recipes for the Home Cook,” by Enrique Olvera with Luis Arrellano, Gonzalo Gout and Daniela Soto-Innes (Phaidon, 2019).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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