Pumpkin Seed Salsa | Cooking Class Giveaway
*GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED – THANK YOU!*
When the folks at Rancho Vignola approached me to sponsor another cooking class giveaway for my loyal fans and followers, I immediately knew two things: that I was feeling a wholehearted YES about the idea, and that I was going to launch the giveaway with my dearly-loved pumpkin seed salsa recipe.
Pumpkin seeds don’t often elicit the kind of fanatic devotion that, say, pine nuts or hazelnuts do. However, if you have access to really fresh ones, pumpkin seeds are amazing. They have a full, rich, nutty sweetness, with a complexity of flavour that suits all kinds of recipes. They have off-the-charts health benefits. They last a long time without going rancid. And did I mention they are delicious?
We tend to snack on pumpkin seeds in nut mixes and granola, but they can be used in any sweet or savoury dish where you might use nuts (pesto, I’m talking to you). Mexicans are way ahead of us in this respect; pepitas (as they are called in Spanish) are used to enhance and garnish all kinds of foods.
My pumpkin seed salsa is a basic fresh tomato salsa with finely chopped toasted pumpkin seeds mixed in, adding a rich, nutty flavour, and soaking up some of the liquid produced by the fresh tomato and lime, helping to make the salsa more chip-scoop-friendly. It’s a great recipe to crack out in the wintertime, when the tomatoes might not be at their best – the toasted pumpkin seeds (with friends fresh lime and cilantro) cover for a slightly sad tomato.
Of course, I wholeheartedly recommend using Rancho Vignola organic pumpkin seeds. As you know, I am a huge fan of their products – the absolute freshness and quality of everything they sell, from nuts, to seeds, to dried fruit, to confections, is bar none. As such, their pumpkin seeds are always fresh, always full of flavour, and always come in an unusual very dark green (almost black) colour that I have come to adore.
Toasted on the left, raw on the right.
Which brings me to this month’s cooking class giveaway. . . This is not a true give-away in the strict sense of the term. Rancho Vignola has sponsored half of the cost of running an entire cooking class (as well as provided all the new-crop nuts and dried fruit that we’ll need for our menu), so there will be 14 spots to sell at a 50% discount. That’s $50 per person for a Chef Heidi cooking class! Three hours of instruction and hands-on learning, a recipe booklet, and a full multi-course meal for $50. In other words, A Great Deal!
This hand-on class will run on Sunday, February 24th, 2019, at from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the beautiful London Chef teaching kitchen in downtown Victoria. The menu will be a hybrid Indian-Moroccan explosion of flavour, and the entire menu with be GLUTEN FREE. There will be both vegetarian and meat-lover’s options to enjoy, and, as always in one of my classes, many tips on how to get the most out of the spices and cooking techniques and pantry items.
1. You are entering to win a discount on a Chef Heidi cooking class. Her classes are normally valued at $100. Draw winners will pay only $50.
2. No purchase necessary to enter the draw, but if you win the discount, you will be expected to pay the remaining 50% value of the cost of the cooking class – in this case, $50 plus GST per person.
4. The Discount Giveaway will run for ten days and close at noon on Wednesday, February 13th. The 14 winners will be chosen by random draw and announced on Thursday, February 14th – Happy Valentine’s Day :)
5. This discount giveaway is open to any Canadian or U.S. resident who can make it to Victoria for the date of the class (Feb 24th, 2019).
7. This discount cannot be applied to any other cooking class. It applies only to the Rancho Vignola sponsored cooking class offered Feb 24th, 2019.
PHEW! Now that that’s all over and explained, let me just give you that recipe. And don’t forget to post your comments here or over on my facebook fanpage or Instagram post for your chance to WIN the discount!
PUMPKIN SEED SALSA
Makes 3 cups
This nutty, flavourful salsa is a delight in the winter months.
160 ml (2/3 cup) raw green pumpkin seeds
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 large shallot, peeled and chopped
1 small jalapeno, seeded and chopped
30 ml (2 Tb) extra-virgin olive oil
4 ml (¾ tsp) sea salt
2.5 ml (½ tsp) white sugar
45 ml (3 Tb) fresh lime juice
2.5 ml (½ tsp) chipotle puree (I make this myself using canned chipotle, pureed with a hand blender)
½ bunch of cilantro, leaves and soft stems included
750 ml (3 cups) roughly chopped ripe tomatoes (go for the pricier small vine-ripened tomatoes in the winter months)
Toast the pumpkin seeds in your toaster oven until most of the seeds pop, but make sure they don’t burn. Stir once or twice while the seeds are cooking. They will take from 5 to 8 minutes to toast. Set aside to cool.
In a food processor, puree everything except pumpkin seeds and tomatoes. Add the pumpkin seeds and process until the pumpkin seeds are finely ground, but not totally to a puree. Add all the tomatoes with their juice and process again until the tomatoes are chopped small. Taste for salt, sugar and lime – you may need to add more of each.
The finished salsa will be on the smooth side, a bit runny, but still scoopable with a tortilla chip. And most importantly, it will be delicious.