Chef – Thomasina Miers
Mole [moll-ay] means “sauce” in Mexico and is an umbrella for a thousand delicious sauces made from ground nuts, chillies and herbs. This is a beautifully vibrant one enriched with nuts and green herbs that we have on our menus at Wahaca this season.
1 medium Delica pumpkin, acorn or butternut squash
1 chile de arbol
2 fat cloves garlic
A small handful chopped fresh thyme
2 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
Aged pecorino to shave, optional
Tortillas, to serve
Wedges of lime, to serve
For the kale and cashew nut mole:
140g cashew nuts, soaked overnight
1 green jalapeño
50g small kale leaves
1 garlic clove
A large handful each of coriander and parsley
A small bunch of tarragon, leaves stripped and stalks discarded
75ml extra virgin olive oil plus more for the squash
3 spring onions
1 tbsp cider vinegar
Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
Toast the chili in a dry frying-pan for a minute or two until it starts smelling nutty. Crumble it into a pestle and pound it with the garlic, thyme and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Once you have a smooth-ish puree, stir in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Cut the pumpkin or squash into approximately 10-12 wedges and toss in the garlicky oil and roast for 30 to 35 minutes until the squash is slightly blackened at the edges and soft.
Make the mole whilst the pumpkin is cooking. Separate out a handful of coriander and parsley and leave to garnish the finished dish. Blend the cashew nuts in an upright food blender, then add half the jalapeño and the rest of the sauce ingredients and blend to a smooth puree. It should be the consistency of double cream, so thin down with more water or olive oil if needed. Taste, and if you like a bit more heat, add the rest of the jalapeño (or freeze it for another dish).
Heat up the tortillas either in a microwave or a dry frying pan. Warm the mole gently. Put the pumpkin on plates and scatter with the pumpkin and pomegranate seeds and baby kale. Shave with pecorino, and serve with the warm tortillas, mole and lime wedges.