Asparagus, Green Beans and Potatoes With Green Mole Sauce

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Mole sauce, which is thickened with nuts or seeds, is as wonderful with vegetables as it is with meat or fish, something I was reminded of recently when I had a main dish of mole with vegetables at El Naranjo, the chef Iliana de la Vega’s restaurant in Austin, Tex. Green mole especially lends itself to vegetables. At this time of year I’m buying asparagus and green beans. They should not be too crunchy – five minutes was just the right amount of cooking time.

Ingredients

  • ½

    cup hulled untoasted pumpkin seeds

  • ½

    pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed and coarsely chopped

  • 1

    serrano chile or 1/2 jalapeño (more to taste), stemmed and roughly chopped

  • 3

    romaine lettuce leaves, torn into pieces (about 1 1/2 cups / 1 1/2 ounces)

  • ¼

    small white onion, coarsely chopped, soaked for 5 minutes in cold water, drained and rinsed (optional)

  • 2

    garlic cloves, halved, green shoots removed

  • ¼

    cup loosely packed chopped cilantro, plus additional for garnish

  • ½

    teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground

  • 1 ½

    cups vegetable stock, garlic broth or chicken stock

  • 1

    tablespoon canola or extra-virgin olive oil

  • Salt to taste

  • ½ to ¾

    pound asparagus

  • ½ to ¾

    pound green beans

  • ¾ to 1

    pound boiling potatoes or Yukon golds, cut in wedges

  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)


      288 calories; 13 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 4 grams polyunsaturated fat; 34 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams dietary fiber; 8 grams sugars; 12 grams protein; 2 milligrams cholesterol; 979 milligrams sodium

    • Note:

      The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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Preparation

  1. Heat a heavy Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat and add pumpkin seeds. Wait until you hear one pop, then stir constantly until they have puffed and popped, and smell toasty. They should not get any darker than golden or they will taste bitter. Transfer to a bowl or a baking sheet and allow to cool.
  2. Place cooled pumpkin seeds in a blender and add tomatillos, chiles, lettuce, onion, garlic, cilantro, cumin, salt, and 1/2 cup of the stock. Cover blender and blend mixture until smooth, stopping blender to stir if necessary.
  3. Heat oil in the Dutch oven or heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Drizzle in a bit of the blended mixture and if it sizzles, add the rest. Cook, stirring, until mixture darkens and thickens, about 5 minutes. (Hold the lid above the pot to shield you and your stove from splatters.) Add remaining stock, bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring often, until sauce is thick and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt. You should have about 2 cups.
  4. Steam potato wedges above 1 inch boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender. Steam asparagus and green beans for 5 minutes, or blanch for the same amount of time in salted boiling water. Transfer to a bowl of cold water, drain and drain again on a kitchen towel.
  5. Arrange the vegetables on a platter or plates and spoon mole sauce over, or heat through in the sauce, in the saucepan. Serve with rice or corn tortillas if desired.

Tip

  • Advance preparation: The sauce can be made 3 days ahead and refrigerated. It also freezes well. Whisk or blend to restore its consistency after thawing.
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