Saturday, February 15, 2014

Pepita Pesto

Brii from Briggishome is hosting both versions of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I'm gone for something a little different - Pepitas.

pepitas© by Haalo

These lovely olive green seeds are Pepitas which are just hulled Pumpkin seeds (dried Pumpkin seeds are all white in colour).

I've kept the green theme going with my recipe - a pesto made with both basil and parsley leaves and pepitas filling in for the pinenuts. I'm using parsley to soften the intensity of the basil and allow the flavour of pepita to come through.

Pepita Pesto© by Haalo

Pepita Pesto
Yield: 1 Jar

40 grams pepitas
1 garlic clove, peeled
20 grams fresh basil leaves
10 grams fresh parsley leaves
20 grams finely grated parmesan, approx, to taste
olive oil, as required
sea salt, to taste


While you can make this using a food processor/blender I prefer to use a mortar and pestle - I find I achieve a much better texture and flavour and time-wise, there isn't much of difference and less washing to do!

First off, you'll need to toast the pepitas - use a dry skillet over a medium heat and keep tossing the pepitas so they don't burn. This should only take a minute or so - you'll know when they are ready by the aroma and you'll find some will start to pop. Remove them immediately from the heat.

Place the garlic clove and a pinch of sea salt flakes into the mortar and pound to form a smooth paste. Add the pepitas and continue to pound until they are roughly smashed. Tumble in the basil and parsley leaves followed by a small drizzle of olive oil - continue working the mixture using the broken pepitas to break down the leaves.

Once the mixture has reached your preferred consistency - I prefer a pesto with a bit of texture to it - stir in the grated parmesan followed by enough oil to slacken the mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

Pepita Pesto© by Haalo

If you aren't using this straight away, pour it into a sealable glass jar, top generously with olive oil to stop it from discolouring and store in the fridge until ready to use.


  1. i didn't know the name pepita for "naked" pumpkin seeds ;)
    Love them and i think i'd love this pesto! :)


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