I am a pesto fan but my husband does not enjoy the traditional pine nut ingredient. I love to try using different seeds and nuts and often keep pesto in the freezer as it is as easy way to add flavor to dressings, use as a marinade, toss onto chicken or just about any protein.
After carving a pumpkin and roasting the seeds, I went to work on a pumpkin inspired pesto…
Feel free to use unroasted or roasted seeds as they are availble year round with or without shells.
Ingredients (enough for 4 cups of cooked pasta)
1/4 cup shelled, salted pumpkin/pepita seeds (roasted or unroasted)
1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, loosley packed
1/2 cup fresh parsley, loosley packed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Combine the seeds, parmesan and garlic in a food processor (I used a mini-processor) and pulse until seeds are finely ground. Add the basil and parsley and pulse. Pour the olive oil into the top of the processor and pulse every few seconds until well incorporated. If your processor does not have a small hole in the top, simply add a bit of the olive oil, pulse and repeat.
If you enjoy pesto, consider Basil & Almond Pesto