There's no munchie snack more appropriate for this time of year than roasted pumpkin seeds. Pulled from the guts of your beloved Jack-o-Lantern, they fill the house with a warm, toasted air and provide the perfect bar snack, of sorts, to accompany apple cider, pumpkin beer, or any manner of autumnal cocktails (like these, these, or these, just to name a few). They'd be pretty cute sprinkled on an Autumn cheese plate, too.
I was feeling too overwhelmed to carve a pumpkin this year - it just seemed like too big and messy a project to delve into, considering I'm kind of a disorganized mess all the time these days. But then we picked up a large pumpkin for a photoshoot, who ended up on my dinner table...and that pumpkin just kept staring at me until I pulled out a paring knife and whittled him into his full potential. Truthfully, it wasn't nearly as big a project as I was building it up to be - it was pretty quick and super satisfyingly festive! So if you're feeling like pumpkin carving is too big a pain - just dig in! It's worth it. The side perk is this little toasty snack. Just slide the seeds from the gooey mush they reside in, give them a quick rinse, and toast away. You'll be glad you did. The seasons pass so quickly when we're all blindly focused on the surface details of the days (logistics, laundry, to-do lists) - sometimes it takes a little yearly project to remind you where you are. It's Autumn, people! Eat some pumpkin seeds! The laundry will wait.
SIMPLE ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS
Separate seeds from pumpkin flesh and give a quick rinse. Spread on an oiled baking sheet and bake at 300° for 30 minutes, to dry them out. Remove seeds from oven and toss with olive oil, salt, and seasonings of your choosing. Return to oven and bake at 350° for 10 minutes, until golden and fragrant.
For the seeds shown here, I used:
- a liberal shaking of sea salt and dried rosemary
- a drizzle of honey
- and a pinch of cayenne pepper
You can't go wrong with any seasoning - the seeds are the perfect backdrop for savory or sweet. These sweet and spicy ones from Martha Stewart sound delicious to me, as do these cinnamon sugar ones...mmm....
(all photos, Jamie Grill Photography)