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Pipián Verde: A Delicious Mexican Green Pumpkin Seed Sauce

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Pipián Verde is a traditional Mexican sauce known for its vibrant green color and rich, nutty flavor derived from roasted pumpkin seeds, or pepitas. This sauce is a staple in Mexican cuisine, particularly in the states of Oaxaca and Puebla, where it is served over poultry, pork, or vegetables. Pipián Verde combines the freshness of herbs like cilantro and parsley with the earthiness of roasted seeds and a hint of spiciness from green chilies, resulting in a sauce that is both complex and satisfying.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup roasted, unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 2-3 fresh poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, and seeded
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Ingredients:
    • Roast the Pepitas: Heat a dry skillet over medium heat. Add the pepitas and toast, stirring frequently, until they are lightly browned and fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
    • Roast the Poblano Peppers: Place the poblano peppers directly over a gas flame or under the broiler, turning occasionally with tongs, until the skin is charred and blistered all over. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let steam for 10 minutes. Peel off the charred skin, remove the seeds and stems, and chop the flesh.
  2. Make the Pipián Verde Sauce:
    • In a blender or food processor, combine the roasted pepitas, cilantro leaves, parsley leaves, roasted poblano peppers, garlic, chopped onion, ground cumin, dried oregano, and 1 cup of the chicken or vegetable broth.
    • Blend until smooth, adding more broth as needed to reach your desired consistency. You may need to blend the sauce in batches depending on the size of your blender.
  3. Cook the Pipián Verde:
    • Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Pour the blended sauce into the pan and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
    • Gradually stir in the remaining chicken or vegetable broth, a little at a time, until the sauce is smooth and slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve and Enjoy:
    • Pipián Verde is typically served hot over cooked chicken, pork, or vegetables.
    • Garnish with additional fresh cilantro leaves and pepitas for added texture and flavor.
    • Serve alongside rice or warm tortillas to soak up the delicious sauce.

Tips for Serving

  • Variations: You can customize Pipián Verde by adjusting the amount of chili peppers for more or less heat, or by adding a touch of lime juice for brightness.
  • Storage: Leftover Pipián Verde sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stove before serving.
  • Side Dishes: Serve Pipián Verde alongside Mexican rice, refried beans, or a fresh green salad for a complete meal.

Conclusion

Pipián Verde is a testament to the richness and versatility of Mexican cuisine. With its blend of roasted pepitas, fresh herbs, and roasted poblano peppers, this sauce offers a delicious balance of flavors and textures that elevate any dish it accompanies. Whether enjoyed with poultry, pork, or vegetables, Pipián Verde brings a taste of tradition and culinary excellence to your table. Embrace the flavors of Mexico with this delightful sauce and savor the vibrant culinary heritage it represents.

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Written by Robert Zelesky

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