Avocado and Pumpkin Seed Salsa

At first glance these eye-catching chile peppers look like red jalapeno. However, they have a different flavor and are less meaty than Jalapeno. Red Fresnos are great roasted and added to salsas. Try grilling them alongside your steaks or in kabobs.

When roasting these they should char, blister, and become soft. Try substituting these in your favorite chile recipes.

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1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (4 oz.)
1 red bell pepper
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red Fresno chile, stemmed and 3 large ripe firm Hass avocados, cut into 1/2″ dice
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 400F. Spread the pumpkin seeds on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 4 minutes, or until the seeds are lightly browned. Transfer them to a plate to cool.

Roast the bell pepper over a gas flame until charred all over. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it steam in the covered bowl for 5 minutes. Peel, stem and seed the pepper, then cut it into 1/2″ dice.

In a bowl, mix the lemon juice with the garlic and chile. Stir in the pumpkin seeds, bell pepper and avocados. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Recipe by Marcia Kiesel, from the June 2000 issue of Food and Wine Magazine.