Hemp tortillas with toasted pumpkin seed salsa
( MAKES 6 tortillas )
Photo by Tam West
Hemp is coming folks! It’s an amazingly useful, fast-growing and versatile plant that was widely used until just after World War II and is only recently being recognised again for its many benefits.
I’ll admit to being a bit sceptical about its foodie potential at first. I’d heard the seed was highly nutritious — rich in protein and an ideal blend of good fats — but I’d only tried the rough and gritty unhulled hempseed and wrote it off as a hippie gimmick. However, when hulled and milled it becomes a smooth green powder with a nutty, earthy and slightly sweet taste (good in smoothies). It has a character of its own and soon I warmed to it and started experimenting.
These tortillas are my favourite way to enjoy it. I’ve combined it here with corn masa flour (gluten-free, from good food shops) although it’s good with plain flour too. Eat soft with fillings or cook them brown and crispy until they become deliciously crunchy. Bonus points if you sprinkle them with cracked pepper and extra salt before cooking.
I like to dip them in salsa, and this one is rich and intense. Keeping with the green hemp theme it includes roasted pumpkin seeds, lightly crushed so they soak up and thicken the juices. You can add the seeds to a fresh salsa too if there’s too much tomato juice, or just make extra and keep them in an airtight container as a tasty, healthy snack.
For the tortillas
|¾ cup||Corn masa flour|
|¼ cup||Hemp protein powder, See Glossary listing for more information|
|½ cup||Warm water, + 2 Tbsp|
For the roasted pumpkin seeds
|2 cups||Pumpkin seeds|
|1 Tbsp||Lime juice, (or lemon juice)|
|1 tsp||Coconut sugar|
|¼ tsp||Chilli powder, up to ¾ tsp if you like it hot|
|½ tsp||Tamari, or soy sauce|
For the salsa
|2 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|1 cup||Onion, very finely chopped|
|4||Garlic cloves, minced|
|1 tsp||Dried oregano|
|½ tsp||Coriander seeds, ground|
|½ tsp||Ground pepper|
|1 tsp||Cider vinegar|
|2 tsp||Coconut sugar|
|2 Tbsp||Chipotle chillies, tinned, minced|
|½ tsp||Chilli powder, I used kashmiri|
|1 cup||Tomato, finely chopped (small, sweet ones)|
|⅔ cup||Pumpkin seeds, roasted, from the recipe above|
- For the tortillas, put masa flour, hemp seed powder and salt in a bowl with warm water. Use hands to mix thoroughly, adding a touch more water if needed to form into a smooth and pliable clump. Divide into golf ball-sized pieces and roll to form balls.
- Get a heavy pan medium hot. Use a tortilla press if available, or lay a sheet of baking paper on a smooth bench, place a ball in the middle and cover with another piece of baking paper, then roll out to about 3mm thick. Lift off the bench, peel baking paper from one side, tip on your hand then peel back the other side.
- Using a quick motion, flop the tortilla into the pan. Don’t touch it for a minute — give it time to firm up. Cook until edges start to lift then flip over, browning lightly on both sides for soft tortillas. Cook a little longer for crunchy. Repeat for the other five tortillas.
- To roast pumpkin seeds, place in a heavy tray in oven set to 170C for about 20 minutes until lightly browned and smelling good, tossing once or twice as they cook. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over roasted seeds when they come out of the oven, mixing to coat evenly. Bake for another 5-10 minutes until all liquid is absorbed and seeds are crunchy again.
- For the salsa, heat the olive oil in a small pan then add the onion and garlic. Turn heat down and cook gently for a few minutes until onion is translucent and sweet. Add everything else except pumpkin seeds and cook one more minute then remove from heat and mash gently.
- Crush roasted pumpkin seeds in a mortar and pestle until they’re a mix of partly broken and finely ground. The aim is to leave enough of the seeds showing so you can see what they are in the salsa, while having some fine enough to soak up the tomato juices.
- Serve the salsa with tortillas for dipping.