Pumpkin-Seed Salad

Pumpkin seeds are known as pepitas in Mexico, where they are used in a variety of recipes. Pepitas are available in the United States in Mexican food stores, in health-food stores and in many supermarkets. They're sold with or without the hull, raw or roasted, and salted or unsalted. For this recipe, use pepitas with the hulls removed to avoid giving the vinaigrette a woody flavor. Since you'll be toasting them yourself, buy them raw.
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 27 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 12 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 large red onion, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup raw pepitas, hulled

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

1 head red oakleaf lettuce, torn into pieces

1 head green oakleaf lettuce, torn into pieces

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a saute pan set over medium-high heat. Place onion rounds in skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook until fork-tender, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet set over medium-low heat. Add the pumpkin seeds, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 4 minutes, being careful that the seeds don't jump from the skillet as they pop. Set skillet aside to cool. Place 1/2 cup cooked pumpkin seeds in the bowl of a food processor; add a pinch of salt, and pulse until finely ground. With the machine running, slowly add the remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil. Add the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Set the pumpkin vinaigrette aside. When ready to serve, combine both lettuces and the onion in a large bowl. Pour the reserved vinaigrette over the top, and toss the salad to combine. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds.

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