Toasted Pumpkin Seed and Mixed Greens Pesto | CUESA

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Toasted Pumpkin Seed and Mixed Greens Pesto


Charles Vollmar, Chef and owner, Epicurian Exchange

Makes 2 cups, garnish for 8 servings


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup raw (green) pumpkin seeds
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 cups fresh greens or herbs (cilantro, Italian parsley, arugula, mâche, mint, spinach, watercress)
2 scallions, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the pumpkin seeds with a bit of salt and pepper, and stir constantly until the seeds puff up and begin to pop, about 4 minutes. Seeds should be lightly browned.

  2. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer to a plate and allow to, cool completely.
  3. Once the seed mixture has cooled, transfer to a food processor, add the scallions and greens or herb mixture. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped, but do not over process (the mixture should remain loose and crumbly).
  4. Transfer to a bowl, and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.


Photo by morberg.


CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) is dedicated to growing thriving communities through the power and joy of local food. Learn More »