Ever since the Accidental Locavore was a girl, I’ve loved roasted pumpkin seeds. Actually, to be perfectly honest, it’s anything salty and crunchy that gets my attention. Since a friend of mine was going to be doing a bunch of pumpkins for Halloween, I asked for and got all the pumpkin seeds, delivered straight from the pumpkin, slimy parts and all. Once you’ve cleaned the seeds, this is an easy recipe:
- The seeds from 1 or more pumpkins (butternut squash works well too)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons Za’atar, Turkish spice blend, or any spice blend you like
Preheat the oven to 325° degrees. Line a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper. Place the pumpkin seeds in a large bowl and fill with cool water. Agitate the seeds with your hand until the slimy pumpkin stuff starts to separate. It will sink to the bottom of the bowl. When the seeds are clean, scoop them up with a slotted spoon and spread them out to dry on a clean dish towel.
Pat them dry and put in a bowl with the olive oil and salt. Toss to coat. Spread evenly on the baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Stir and roast for another 15-20 minutes, until they are golden brown and crunchy. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with your choice of spices. Taste and add more spices and salt as needed. Serve and enjoy!
My verdict: I did two batches, one with a Turkish spice blend (cumin, peppercorns and Aleppo pepper) I found in the cabinet and one with a za’atar mix. They were both really good. The za’atar had the traditional sesame seeds in it, which were great with the pumpkin seeds. The Turkish blend was a little spicier and also really good. I let my seeds dry overnight so they would be good and crunchy. If you can use a dish towel for them to dry on, it works better than paper towels, which tend to stick to the seeds. I also saved and froze in one-cup packs a couple of bags for future projects (like pumpkin seed brittle), so stay tuned.