If the chill in the air weren’t enough to convince you that summer is well into its departure in Munich, sights like the one above should be enough to convince you. Yesterday as I passed through the English garden on my bike, I had to stop and grab a photo of this…”float” (what to call it?), essentially a wagon piled high with beer barrels drawn by horses and accompanied by men in “tracht” – German traditional clothing…in this case of course the Bavarian costume. And when you walk around anywhere, you see plenty of women dressed up for the Oktoberfest that will begin in just a week or two. (Yes, in case you didn’t know, Oktoberfest actually mostly takes place in the month of September. )
And I keep cooking Mexican food…a great pairing for sunny days (when we have them), and cool air. Last night a bunch of friends came over to eat chicken tacos and apple cake and I thought I would try a salsa recipe I’ve eaten in a favorite mexican restaurant here. It’s made with pumpkin seeds, of all things. You toast them in a pan for a few minutes until they get aromatic, and then throw them in a blender with the rest of the ingredients.
I used the recipe from here as a starter. But I found once I got everything into the bender, I had to make some adjustments.
MAKES ABOUT 1 ½ CUPS
INGREDIENTS (including my adjustments)
1 ¼ cups raw, unhulled pumpkin seeds
2 plum tomatoes, cored
1 habanero chile, stemmed (I used a serrano not habanero)
3 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
3 tbsp. finely chopped chives
1/2 a small onion – I used a red one
Kosher salt, to taste
Olive oil: enough to loosen the paste in the blender (perhaps about 1/4 cup?)
1. Heat an 8″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add pumpkin seeds, and cook, swirling pan often, until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a food processor, and process until smooth, about 45 seconds; set aside.
2. Return skillet to heat and add tomatoes and chile; cook, turning as needed, until charred all over, about 5 minutes for the chile, 7 minutes for the tomatoes. Transfer to food processor with pumpkin seeds along with cilantro, chives, onion, and salt, and pulse until smooth. Add olive oil if necessary to loosen the salsa a bit. Transfer to a bowl, and serve at room temperature.
It’s quite good when served warm and fresh. Very rich stuff – you won’t need much. Pairs really really well with a tomato salsa and a bowl of guacamole. This is not a photo of mine – but one from the original recipe. But it comes out looking like this, Keep covered if you don’t serve it immediately – if left exposed it will darken.
And of course, “Shana Tova!” (Happy New Year) to those of you who celebrate Rosh Ha’Shanah. I’ll eat a piece of leftover apple cake today to stick with tradition – at least a bit.