You can make a super easy mole sauce at home. You could do it tomorrow. I am not lying.
Five simple ingredients and 20 minutes later you’ll have this gorgeous green sauce to spoon onto all sorts of dishes. Tacos, vegetables, eggs, soup, chicken, fish – they can all be improved with this simple sauce.
This mole was inspired by a recent trip to Rick Bayless’s restaurant Frontera. I tried the mole trio and was delighted to discover that a green sauce served with simple roasted veggies tucked inside a tortilla was out-of-this-world amazing. It was my favorite of the three moles that we tried. With a little research I learned it is also very easy to make, just a simple combination of pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and tomatillos with a handful of other ingredients.
Outside of Mexico, the term “mole” usually refers to the dark brown or red sauces that can contain upwards of 30 ingredients and require hours of attention. The resulting sauces are layered, dark, and deeply flavorful. Within Mexico, mole can refer to any sauce and there are many other varieties. This green mole tastes vibrant, fresh and bright. I’d compare the dark brown and red moles to a long simmered ragu while this green mole is more on par with basil pesto. It may not be as well know and much quicker to make but it’s equally deserving of your attention.
Since tomatillos are out of season, I decided to take a shortcut and use salsa verde. It’s a good substitute containing all the ingredients that would usually end up in a green mole sauce anyway: tomatillos, garlic, jalapeño, onion. I used this as a topping for breakfast tacos (recipe coming soon!) and I also swirled it into a chicken soup later in the week. It’s very versatile and would even be great spread onto a sandwich. I kept the sauce thick but it could be thinned with stock or water and poured over enchiladas. It’s great on any dish that you want to give a fresh Mexican kick.
Easy Green Mole Sauce
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 12 oz can of salsa verde (see note)
1 cup parsley
1 cup cilantro
Special Equipment Needed:Food processorMethod:
In a large skillet over medium heat toast the pumpkin and cumin seeds together until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely ground. Add the salsa verde, parsley and cilantro and process until smooth. Sauce can be thinned as needed with water or broth.
Note: I used Trader Joe’s salsa verde. Look at the label of whichever salsa you choose and confirm that tomatillos are the first ingredient and it contains only ingredients you can pronounce and recognize.
If you’d like to make this recipe from fresh tomatillos I recommend this Pumpkin Seed Mole recipe.