In Oaxaca, green mole (mole verde) is one of the seven famous moles. What makes this one different is not just the lack of chocolate, but also the fresh herbs, which give it a fabulous green color. Of course every region or family has its own way of making mole. I learned this recipe from my friend from Puebla, who calls it mole pipían, referring to the pumpkin seeds used in it. Whatever you call it, it’s fantastic with chicken, fish, pork, or as a spicy sauce over a bunch of enchiladas.–Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee
LC If There is Mole, There is a Party Note
A chef in Mexico once told us that when guests are invited to a party in Mexico, it is not uncommon for them to pose the question, “Is there mole?” If the answer is no, the chef explained, well, there’s no party. To clarify, when most people think of mole, they think of black mole (mole negro), the rich, earthy, equal parts bitter and sweet concoction containing various dried chiles and a couple dozen other ingredients, slowly simmered into a sauce that’s unquestionably worth celebrating. This mole, though sort of its antithesis given its spare ingredient list and minimal investment of time, is no less party worthy. Nor will there be any fewer compliments.
Pumpkin Seed Mole Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 35 M
- Makes about 3 cups
- 1 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
- 1 white onion, cut into wedges
- 5 tomatillos, husked and halved
- 5 garlic cloves, halved
- 2 jalapeño peppers, sliced
- 2 cups chicken stock or broth
- 1 cup packed coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup fresh epazote (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1. In a large skillet with high sides or in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, toast the pumpkin seeds, cumin seeds, and oregano, if using, until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Toss frequently to make sure they don’t burn. Remove from the heat and transfer to a spice grinder or a blender and process until finely ground.
- 2. In the same skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, tomatillos, garlic, and jalapeños and cook until slightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes, tossing a couple of times but not too much. Place the vegetables in a blender or food processor, then add the broth, cilantro, parsley, epazote (if using), and salt and process until puréed.
- 3. Pour the mixture back into the skillet and add the ground pumpkin seed mixture. Let simmer gently until the flavors are melded, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately. (Leftovers—if there are any—can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a couple of days.)
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Pumpkin Seed Mole Recipe © 2011 Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee. Photo © 2011 Leigh Beisch. All rights reserved.