We have gone all Mexican the past few weeks, homemade tacos, Mexican salads, salsa and moles galore. Hubby thinks he’s in food heaven enjoying the meat laden tacos with the token greenery scattered on top, after all eating tacos means you get to design your own. When I saw this dish in Tomasina Miers book which arrive a few weeks ago I just had to make it, the vibrant orange pumpkin against the Herby green pumpkins seeds cried out to be made. All the spices and flavours I knew I would love it and declared that we were having Mexican again for dinner. When I lifted the lid off the serving dish at the table hubby looked like a goldfish in a bowl, jaw open with a vacant expression, uttering “Err, is that the side dish”. “No Dear” I replied in my English school mam voice. A hesitant scoop went onto his plate next to a rather large pile of soft tacos. But guess what? He loved it after the first taste, declared it didn’t need any meat it was a perfect dish. So there you go, it pays sometimes to keep my trap shut and not react to his initial lack of enthusiasm, I must have been having a positive hormone day! Therefore I can recommend this as a ‘complete dish’ even for those meat lovers but it would work well next to a spicy meat dishes or marinated fish which you can find in Tomasina’s book, Mexican Food At Home. The original recipe has quinces in it but that would have pushing it a little to far for hubby mixing fruit and savoury, I have also altered a few ingredients to suit availability here.
2kg butternut pumpkin, peeled & de-seeded
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
For the Green Mole (Pipian)
3 Chipotle Chili (you can buy tinned La Morena brand here)
3 pickled Jalapeno chili (La Morena)
120g pumpkin seeds
4 cloves garlic
1 onion, peeled and quartered
2 large bunches coriander
1 large bunch basil
Preheat oven to 200C
Cut the butternut pumpkin into bite size chunks and place in a roasting dish.
Add a good splash of olive oil, ground cinnamon, cumin seeds & balsamic vinegar to the roasting pan and toss through the pumpkin.
Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. You want them to be cooked but not falling apart.
Remove the pumpkin from the oven once cooked.
To make the Green Mole place the pumpkin seeds on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5-10 minutes.
Transfer them to a food processor then add the chillies, onion & garlic and blitz till the texture of a chunky pesto.
Add the coriander & basil and blend again till the herbs are finely chopped. You may need to add a few tablespoons of water to loosen the paste if it doesn’t blend properly.
In a large frying pan over a medium heat add a good splash of olive oil and heat.
Add the green mole and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the stock to make a sauce and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Then add your roasted pumpkin to the sauce and gently stir through the green mole with out breaking up the pumpkin. Heat through if the pumpkin has cooled.
Serve with soft warm tacos.