Zucchini and Red Pepper Enchiladas with Two Salsas

Grilled vegetables are grilled and then rolled in corn tortillas before being lightly fried.  Two salsas, one made of pumpkin seeds and the other made from tomatoes, compliment the smoky vegetables.

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If you are  a regular reader you know that I am a magazine whore.   I cannot pass by a magazine rack without scouring the shelves for the newest glossy to capture my taste-buds.  I am loving Gourmet and especially their Gourmet Every Day section, they always, I mean always have some fantastic ideas for quick, easy and flavorful recipes.  I have decided that I would pick one recipe from this section, each month, cook it, eat it and review it for your pleasure.

We are trying to eat more vegetarian inspired meals at least once if not twice a week.  We are doing this for a couple reasons 1) to cut back on meat consumption 2) new variety in our diets and 3) to just eat more veggies!    We picked the Zucchini and Red Pepper Enchiladas with Two Salsas, from the August 2009 Gourmet as our kick off recipe.  Last Friday, we made a pitcher of passion fruit margaritas, warmed up a big bowl of padrons and we cooked together – yes, we cooked together.  It was silly and very fun – be sure to check out the video we made while cooking dinner, it is in our “latest video section down below”.

This enchilada recipe was not the typical enchilada recipe that I make.  This particular one calls lightly frying the rolled tortillas.  As well it calls for adding grilled vegetables.  We did not want to heat up the BBQ grill so we went with the option of pan grilling the  zucchini, white onions and red peppers.  While the veggies were cooking and turning golden brown, we made the two salsas.   Lenny made the traditional style tomato and onion one and I made the slightly more complicated one, pumpkin seed and cilantro salsa.  After the veggies were done, we lightly rolled them in corn tortillas that had a small amount of pumpkin seed salsa smothered on them and then we gently fried them.  Even though the salsas were very flavorful, by this point, we were very worried that this dish was going to be very bland as the veggies were …. just veggies.  To serve this dish we laid a couple of the enchiladas on a plate and topped with more of the pumpkin seed salsa, a little of the tomato salsa, some queso fresco and additional pumpkin seeds.

*we had extra pumpkin seed salsa which I have put in the freezer for another dish.

Review:  We both loved this dish.  The salsas really complimented the grilled vegetables.  The pumpkin salsa was slightly nutty and refreshing and the tomato salsa was spicy, both went very well together and equally as well with the vegetables and corn tortillas.  This is a fairly easy recipe but it does take a little time to make.  Next time, I would roll some of the cheese with the veggies and I would spoon the pumpkin seed salsa over the top of the enchiladas and let them bake for a bit before serving.  Otherwise, we give it two forks!

Recipe:    Zucchini and Red Pepper Enchiladas with Two Salsas

1 large white onion, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
2 red bell peppers, quartered
3/4 pound medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
12 (6-to 7-inch) soft corn tortillas
1/2 cup vegetable oil
6 ounces crumbled queso fresco or ricotta salata

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh serrano chile, including seeds
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/3 cups raw green (hulled) pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups chopped cilantro
1 1/2 cups water

2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh serrano chile, including seeds
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Prepare a gas grill for direct-heat cooking over medium heat.

Preheat oven to 350°F .

Secure each onion round with a wooden pick for grilling. Oil grill rack, then grill vegetables, covered, turning occasionally, until tender (6 to 8 minutes for bell peppers and zucchini; 10 to 12 minutes for onion), transferring to a bowl.

Wrap tortillas in stacks of 6 in foil and heat in oven, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make pumpkin-seed salsa:
Cook chile, garlic, cumin, and pumpkin seeds in oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat, stirring, until seeds pop, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer 3 tablespoons seeds with a slotted spoon to a bowl and reserve. Purée remaining seeds and oil with cilantro, water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth.

Make tomato salsa:
Stir together tomatoes, onion, chile, lime juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Assemble and fry enchiladas:
Cut vegetables into strips. Spread 2 teaspoons pumpkin-seed salsa on each warm tortilla and top with some of grilled vegetables, then roll up. Heat oil (1/2 cup) in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Fry enchiladas, seam side down first, in 2 batches, turning once, until lightly browned and heated through, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer enchiladas to plates, then drizzle with remaining pumpkin-seed salsa and sprinkle with reserved seeds and cheese. Serve with tomato salsa.


  1. These look great! I am loving the two salsas too!

  2. Kristin says:

    This looks fabulous. I think I’m going to make red pepper and calabaza squash enchiladas tonight… i have a bunch of hatch green chili sauce that I made over the weekend that needs using up.

  3. Oh yum! I need to not look at your site when I’m hungry, sheesh. We’re trying to eat more vegetarian meals at our house as well for those very reasons, so this looks fabulous!

  4. dragonfly pie says:

    Ah, I love pumpkin seeds! What a creative (and delicious) way to use them!

  5. My mouth is watering!

  6. It look great. I like to add some avocado to it.

  7. I love this! Mexican-style food is sometimes to heavy and mushy for me. This dish has clean, fresh ingredients with two lovely, light sauces. It looks delicious and elegant. Well done!

  8. It’s nice to meet another magazine whore so that I am not the only one!

    Let’s see. I subscribe to: Cooking Light, Food & Wine, Wine Spectator, Gourmet, La Cucina Italiana, Bon Appetit, Everyday Food, Eating Well, Clean Eating, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Cook’s Illustrated, Cook’s Country, and Saveur!

    But the best part is that I get all these magazines for free through my husband’s priority points when he travels and they all come in his name! :D

    Defintely bookmarking your blog!

  9. I like the idea of toasting the pumpkin seeds and then pureeing it. That sounds like a really tasty salsa.

  10. Like I keep saying – ‘Lenny quit your day job’ and do more video!!!

  11. You’re right. I should quit my day job. This video is terrible. It should be a case study in a beginner video production class. Don’t worry. We is gonna step it up!

  12. I am a lover of all things enchilada. I love this. Yum!

  13. What a tasty way to enjoy some zucchini!

  14. AmyRuth says:

    Ah shucks! You caught me shopping for food when I’m hungry. Mmmm looks pretty good too! :-) i love these kind of flavors and you two are too cute in the “giggly kitchen.” You make me laugh.

  15. You two are so funny :D
    Looking forward to watching your next video!


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