Pumpkin Seed Pesto with Cilantro and Green Onion


6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups unsalted hulled (green) pumpkin seeds

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup water

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

4 green onions (scallions), chopped

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste


Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook pumpkin seeds with salt and pepper to taste, stirring constantly, until seeds are puffed and beginning to pop (some will brown, but do not let all of them), about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Transfer to a plate and cool completely.

Pulse seed mixture in a food processor with water, cilantro, scallions, and remaining 4 tablespoons oil until mixture forms a coarse paste (not finely ground). Transfer to a bowl and stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Cooks' note: · You can make pesto 2 days ahead and chill, its surface and top of bowl covered with plastic wrap. Bring to room temperature and season before serving.