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Monday, August 01, 2016

Pumpkin Seed Chard Pesto with Carmen Pepper and Alma Paprika

Pumpkin Seed Chard Pesto with Carmen Pepper and Alma Paprika delectable victuals


Growing up with a variety of chutneys made with fresh seasonal ingredients, where most chutneys had coconut and herbal notes, I took a great interest in Pesto when I first encountered it at a friend's place ages ago.

Since then, I've tried quite a few pesto and chutney variations that have turned out anything from out-of-this-world to eww-get-it-away-from-me.

There are but a few staple indigenous ingredients in each region that lend themselves to umpteen combinations -- some good, some not-so -- subject to individual taste preference. So, mixing it up a bit seems natural and unavoidable for variety.

Anyway, getting back to this recipe, which came about because I had an unexpected set of ingredients handy,  begging to be used, the Pumpkin Seed  Beet and Chard Greens Pesto got a boost from home garden Alma Paprika and Carmen Pepper.


Pumpkin Seed Chard Pesto with Carmen Pepper and Alma Paprika


The Alma paprika are plump tomato-esque ones rather than the traditional corno di toro type elongated chili variety. The tiny plant was weighed down with two of these and I was waiting patiently for them to ripen to a brilliant red. Seeing as how the plant was falling down, I decided to harvest one of them while still yellow and sporting a healthy blush.

The Carmen pepper was getting big and strong and long, so I was sure I can wait till it turns sweet and juicy red. But, before I got around to taking a picture of it on the plant, the pepper fell off the plant. 

A bunch of chard and beet greens, Alma paprika, green Carmen pepper were ready to be made into something interesting. I thought of the protein-packed Indian staple of Dal, or maybe, South Indian Masiyal, perhaps even Chard-and-Peppers gratin or Creamy soup.


Pumpkin Seed Chard Pesto with Carmen Pepper and Alma Paprika delectable victuals


And then I noticed this unassuming jar of pumpkin seeds. It is lightly toasted and salted but unhulled retaining the highly valuable insoluble fiber. 

The mood called for a simple pesto using Chard and Beet greens, Pumpkin seeds, fresh garlic, Alma paprika, and Carmen pepper. 

I didn't quite measure the condiments, just eyeballed some apple cider vinegar and lemon juice, and olive oil, plus grated Parmesan for this pesto. The pumpkin seeds brought in the coarse texture I like in pesto.

Stirred in with rotini pasta and tossed with sauteed onions and bell peppers, this was quite the simple yet satisfying meal.


Pumpkin Seed Chard Pesto with Carmen Pepper and Alma Paprika

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