This traditional pepita sauce from San Francisco’s Nopalito has many hallmarks of great Mexican food—herbs, spice, nuttiness, creaminess—and can be served with your choice of protein. Pair it with a chilled Vouvray sec.
½ cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
¼ white onion
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 Serrano chilies, stemmed and seeded
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh epazote (found in Mexican groceries)
½ cup fresh cilantro
1½ cups spinach, chard or a combination
½ corn tortilla, toasted in a dry skillet until crisp
2½ cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 tablespoons oil
Salt, to taste
Put all ingredients except oil and salt in blender, and purée until smooth.
Heat oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat, then add sauce (beware of the splatter) and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until sauce is a bit thicker than heavy cream. Salt generously to taste.
Purée sauce again until smooth. Serve immediately with seafood, chicken or pork.