I don’t know about you, but I have a serious case of spring fever. I’ve been craving bright new flavors, and, while it’s still too early for asparagus and peas, this is just the meal to trick me into thinking the temperature is twenty degrees warmer. Sautéed shrimp get tossed with a pumpkin seed & spinach pesto, then layered into corn tortillas with avocados, feta and a lime-dressed Napa cabbage slaw (and, for me, a liberal drizzle of hot sauce). It’s a quick, nutritious meal that speaks of sunshine, no matter the time of year.
The pesto is made with pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, spinach, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice and olive oil—brimming with nutrition and flavor. It’s slightly smoky and just a tad spicy. It’s also fabulous on grilled fish, chicken, thinly sliced steak, or spooned into soup (I can’t wait to try it with this Sweet Corn Soup).
Shrimp Tacos with Pumpkin Seed & Spinach Pesto
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 large lime)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups shredded Napa cabbage (about ½ head)
- 1 pound shelled and deveined wild shrimp , tails discarded
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin coconut oil or olive oil
- Pumpkin Seed Pesto (see below)
- Warm corn tortillas for serving (I toast them in a hot, dry skillet, wrapping them in a kitchen towel as I go to keep them warm)
- Avocado slices for serving
- Crumbled feta cheese for serving
- Hot sauce for serving (optional)
In a small bowl, combine the lime juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Put the cabbage in a large bowl and set aside.
Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Melt the coconut oil or olive oil in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and spread them out in one layer. Cook until pink on bottom, about 1 ½-2 minutes. Turn and cook until pink on other side and cooked through (they should be white throughout), about 1 ½-2 minutes longer. Transfer to large bowl and add 1/3 – ½ cup Pumpkin Seed & Spinach Pesto. Toss well to coat.
Toss the cabbage with the lime dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To assemble the tacos, pile a few shrimp on a warm tortilla and top with avocado slices, a sprinkle of feta cheese and some of the cabbage. Drizzle with hot sauce, if desired. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Seed & Spinach Pesto
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- ½ cup packed cilantro leaves and tender stems
- 1 cup packed baby spinach leaves
- ½ jalapeño , seeded and diced
- Juice of ½ lime , plus more to taste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Cover the pumpkin seeds with warm water and soak 6-10 hours. Drain and rinse.
In a food processor with the blade running, add the garlic and finely chop. Add the drained pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, cilantro, spinach, jalapeño and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Process until finely chopped, scraping down the sides as needed. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and/or lime juice if desired. Do Ahead: The pesto can be covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days.