Serves 12 (makes about 3 cups) | Active Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour, plus 2 hours cooling
1½ cups roasted, unhulled pumpkin seeds
1 pound plum tomatoes, cored and halved
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 habanero chile, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
2 ounces queso fresco, crumbled (½ cup)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Head Start
Refrigerate dip for up to 1 day.
Perfect Pair
Serve with Citrus and Radicchio Salad with Dates and Smoked Almonds , Southern Corn Fritters , or Molletes .
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Nothing against snacking on pumpkin seeds by the handful, but the ancient Mayans knew an even better use for them: They ground the seeds with tomatoes and spicy habanero chiles to make the earthy, toasty dip known as sikil p’ak. The dip features balanced spicy, tart, and roasty flavors, perfect for passing around on game day or enjoying as a midday snack. It’s traditionally made with unhulled pumpkin seeds, which are still encased in their white shells. Since unhulled pumpkin seeds are almost always sold roasted and salted, we found it crucial to rinse off the salt before using the seeds. We then toast the seeds to a rich golden hue in a hot oven before processing them in a blender to break down the tough hulls into a smooth, scoopable dip. If using unsalted pumpkin seeds, skip the rinsing and drying in step 1 and instead start with the toasting.
1 Adjust 1 oven rack to middle position and second rack 6 inches from broiler element. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse pumpkin seeds under warm water and dry thoroughly. Spread seeds on rimmed baking sheet, place sheet on lower rack, and toast seeds, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool and heat broiler.

2 Line second rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Toss tomatoes with 1 tablespoon oil and arrange cut side down on prepared sheet. Place sheet on upper rack and broil until tomatoes are spotty brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to blender and let cool completely.
3 Add onion, lime juice, habanero, pumpkin seeds, and remaining 3 tablespoons oil to blender and process until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of jar as needed. Transfer dip to serving bowl and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 2 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with queso fresco and cilantro before serving.