LEGUMBRES EN PIPIAN, OAXACA STYLE
(Vegetables in Oaxacan Pumpkin Seed Sauce)
Steamed vegetables, usually green ones are frequently served with Green Pipian Sauce, a delightfully spiced sauce thickened with ground, green pumpkin seeds. Sometimes the vegetables are cooked with epazote or avocado leaf to lend a slightly anise flavor or a small amount of ground anise can be used if desired when steaming the vegetables.
Yield: 6 servings
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound small green zucchini, thinly sliced or nopales, cut in thin strips
12 small red potatoes, halved and cooked until tender
2 cups fresh spinach or swiss chard
Pipian sauce, recipe follows
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted until lightly brown
Few sprigs fresh cilantro, optional
1. In a vegetable steamer or in a small amount of salted boiling water, add the zucchini or nopales and potatoes and cook until tender, about 6 to 10 minutes. Add spinach and steam another two minutes.
2. Then toss each vegetable in about a Tablespoon of pipian sauce, or enough to cover, and compose the vegetable dish by arranging each vegetable in a section or circle on the platter in an artistic arrangement and center with a bowl of pipian sauce. Serve with toasted sesame seed and cilantro garnish.
Yield: 4 1/2 cups (approximately)
1 teaspoon dried or 2 dried chipotle chiles
Water to cover
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 cup green pumpkin seeds or pipian
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup sliced scallions, including the greens
1/2 cup cooked or canned tomatillos, drained and chopped, or salsa
2 cups chicken broth
1. For preparing the chipotles, if a microwave oven is available; combine chipotles, vinegar and water in a quart glass measuring cup. Cover and simmer on HIGH power 5 minutes. Or, combine the chipotle chiles, vinegar and water in a small saucepan and simmer 30 minutes, or until flesh and skin are soft. Set aside.
2. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a hot skillet until they start to brown, taking care not to let them burn.
3. Combine the chile, toasted seeds, cilantro, scallions, and tomatillos in a blender along with 2 cups of chicken broth and puree until smooth. Keeps well in the refrigerator for two weeks or three months frozen in a sealed container.
See the entire archive of Southwest Recipes and more suggestions for cooking with chiles.