Pumpkin seeds (or pepitas) were treasured by Native Americans for both their culinary and medicinal uses. It’s easy to see why, because the seeds are tasty and a good source of protein and minerals. Pepitas take on a whole new dimension when lightly roasted. They are often sold this way as a snack food.
I first made this pesto to go with spaghetti squash, but it has since become a favorite pizza topping as well. This is a great way to use fresh basil when it’s plentiful.
Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Adapted from various recipes
1/3 cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup dried tomatoes
1 cup fresh basil leaves
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Toast pumpkin seeds in dry skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and starting to puff and pop.
2. Soak dried tomatoes in water until moistened; drain well.
3. Place first six ingredients (pumpkin seeds through olive oil) in food processor. Process to desired consistency (the mixture will be more like a paste than a sauce). Add oil or a small amount of water for a thinner pesto.
4. Stir in parmesan cheese.
Yield: 3/4 cup
Nutrition (per serving): 87 calories, 68 calories from fat, 7.8g total fat, 1.8mg cholesterol, 81.2mg sodium, 111.3mg potassium, 2g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, <1g sugar, 3.2g protein, 33.9mg calcium, 1.5g saturated fat.