Yesterday afternoon, we went over to our neighbors' backyard to carve pumpkins with them and their four adorable kids, two of whom are too young to carve anything so they just toddled around entertaining us with their winning smiles.
My pumpkin was inspired by last week's excellent New Yorker cover - what could be scarier than Dick Cheney?
Mine did not turn out quite as well as I'd hoped - more ornery owl than Vice President but it was still fun.
In the process of creating our jack-o-lanterns, we collected a heaping pile of pumpkin seeds.
We roasted them when we got home last night and have been snacking on them all day. They're not only delicious, they're also good for you. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of protein, dietary fiber, niacin, iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus and a good source of riboflavin, folate, pantothenic acid, sodium and potassium. So they got that going for them.
And pumpkin seeds are not the only squash seeds you can roast - you can do this with any winter squash and they're all tasty. Kabocha, delicata, butternut are all divine.
If you prefer your seeds a bit more exciting, you can use other spices to flavor them. One option is adding some ground rosemary to the oil and salt. Another spicier option is to use some ground chipotle or ancho chiles, cumin and black pepper. Or, if you have a sweet tooth, use a few tablespoons of melted butter in place of the oil, and coat the seeds with brown sugar, cinammon, nutmeg and ginger.
* Winter squash seeds, however many you can save
* Olive oil or grapeseed oil
* Sea salt
* Spices (optional)
1. Place in a colander and rinse thoroughly, removing any clinging pulp with your fingers.
2. Lay the wet seeds on a dry dishtowel or paper towels to dry before roasting.
3. Toss with a few teaspoons (or tablespoons, depending on how many seeds you have - you want enough oil to coat all the seeds lightly) of oil and spread in a single layer on a thick baking sheet.
4. Salt the seeds to taste and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown, checking often for doneness since the seeds will roast quickly (you'll hear them start to pop) then remove sheet from oven and allow to cool completely
6. Store in an airtight container. Refrigerate if you don't eat them within the first few days - they never last that long at our house.
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