Thursday, June 19, 2008

Creamy Cilantro Dressing With Pumpkin Seeds/Almonds

I love the flavors of Cilantro-Pepita dressing served over Mexican Ceasar Salad and find that this recipe is more than satisfactory. Since many of the prepared ones ready for purchase have mayonnaise (eggs) in them I decided to make my own. This is a wonderful dressing to have on hand for salads, as a dip for crisp raw veggies, chips, sandwiches, and over quesadillas. It can also do double duty as a chutney to serve with bajjis, pongal, etc.


1/4 cup Pumpkin seeds (Pepitas) or Slivered Almonds
1 medium Lemon or Lime
1 bunch Fresh Cilantro, stems and leaves
2 hot green Chilies (JalapeƱo or Serrano)
4 Tbsp Sour Cream/Thick Plain Yogurt
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese (Optional)
Salt to taste - If Parmesan is used, less/no salt will be needed.
Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste
2 cloves Fresh Garlic, peeled OR 1/8 tsp Asafoetida (Hing)
3 Green Onions (Optional)


If the oven is being used anyway, roast the nuts/seeds in the oven: spread them in an ungreased baking pan and toast in a 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes. If not, just dry roast in a small pan. Cool.

Sort, clean and wash the cilantro thoroughly. Trim root ends off and chop coarsely. Wash, trim off root end, and chop the green onions coarsely. Slice off the stem of the chilies, cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and the white membranes (wear rubber gloves to protect your hands).

Squeeze the lime/lemon, set aside the juice and discard the rinds.

Combine all ingredients in a blender container and process until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings. This dressing is pretty mild; leave the seeds and membranes in or use more chilies for a spicy dressing - taste after grinding and then decide for yourself.

Chill in a covered jar until ready to use. The dressing with stay fresh for about a week in the refrigerator.

Variation: Use all parsley or a combination of half cilantro and half Italian parsley instead of all cilantro.

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