Pumpkin Mole with Pistachio Salsa Picante

Avocados are seasonal and at certain times of the year they skyrocket in price. So this recipe thinks outside the box of the traditional approach to guacamole, celebrating the eternally popular pumpkin (winter squash).

Thanks to a growing interest in farmers’ markets there are more heirloom varieties popping up to choose from. Butternuts are a favourite of mine because of their flavour and open, moist texture. They make a perfect filling for enchiladas or quesadillas too. The pistachio salsa adds a tart element and helps cut through the sweetness of the pumpkin. Serve with blue corn (tortilla) chips.

Pumpkin Mole with Pistachio Salsa Picante

Ingredients and Methods

30 min *
45 min
4 to 6
4 to 6
* Additional time required if making all the ingredients yourself


  • some micro coriander, to garnish
  • some goat’s crema
  • some blue corn tortillas chips

For the pumpkin mole

  • 500g butternut pumpkin, peel & cut into 3 cm cubes
  • 100ml honey or agave syrup
  • ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground all spice
  • 3 tsp tahini
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeños, finely chopped
  • some Habenero hot sauce, to taste
  • pinch of sea salt, to taste

For the pistachio salsa picante

  • ⅔ cup (100g) pistachio nuts
  • ⅓ cup (80ml) olive oil
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • some sea salt, to taste
  • 60g jicama, peeled & finely diced
  • ½ small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 or 2 jalapeños, finely chopped
  • 1 small handful oregano leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 small handful tarragon leaves, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tsp pistachio paste
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • some Habenero hot sauce, to taste


Preheat the oven to 190 ° C.

To prepare the salsa, spread the pistachios onto a baking tray, drizzle with a little of the oil and sprinkle with cumin and salt. Roast for 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Allow to cool slightly then roughly chop.

Combine the toasted pistachios with the jicama, onion, jalapeño, oregano and tarragon in a small bowl. In a separate bowl whisk the remaining oil, lime juice, pistachio paste and garlic clove together. Pour over the pistachio mixture and stir to combine. Season with habereno sauce and salt. Set aside.

To prepare the pumpkin mole, place the pumpkin in a large bowl. Add the honey, the 1 ½ tablespoons of freshly squeezed lime juice, 1 ½ tablespoons of the oil, the spices and salt and toss to combine. Transfer into a baking tray and cover with aluminium foil. Bake for 30–40 minutes, until tender.

Transfer half of the pumpkin in a medium bowl and coarsely mash.

Place the remaining pumpkin and marinade in a food processor and blend to puree.

To serve, transfer the pumpkin mole into a communal serving dish, top with the pistachio salsa surround with tortillas chips and serve with goat’s crema. Sprinkle with micro coriander, to garnish.

Quick tip – Simply boil the pumpkin in salted water, until soft. Drain and mash with a fork. Season with honey, lime juice and spices and top with your favourite salsa.

Chef Paul Wilson

Credited with serving some of Australia’s most exciting food, Paul Wilson has been described as one of the most extraordinary culinary talents in the Commonwealth & continues to receive critical acclaim for crafting inspiring dishes that take an innovative approach to cuisine traditions. (more)

here to view all of Chef Paul Wilson's recipes.

Paul Wilson

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