I’m impartial when it comes to which winter squash to love best. I love them all. Mashed into purées, softened in broth and blended into soups and chowders, floating in rich bean chilis, stuffed and baked, and roasted and melted into pizza. A bowl of sage-y, cheesy, winter squash and pasta? I’ll tuck right in, thank you.
I especially love that winter squashes of all stripes come with their very own bonus snack built right in. We grew up roasting pumpkin seeds on the night that we carved our jack-o’-lanterns, but there’s no reason not to toast up the seeds from all of your squash guts all season long.
Start by scooping.
Rinse and dry.
Add oil, salt, and spices.
Cooking time will vary a bit depending on the variety and size of the seeds you use, so a watchful eye is helpful, but in general, I follow the same basic “recipe” when I make my favorite seasonal snack.
Roasted Squash Seeds
+ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
+Remove seeds from the squash. (I happen to think an ice cream scoop is the very perfect tool for the job, but any sturdy spoon would work.)
+ Make your best effort to rinse the seeds and remove the largest pieces of stringy pulp. Try not to be perfectionist about this step—a little roasted pulp will only make things yummier.
+ Pat the seeds dry with a clean dishtowel.
+ Toss in olive oil and few pinches of salt (or about a million other yummy things you can think of) and spread evenly on a sheet pan to roast for ~20 minutes until crisped up, but not burned.
For these seeds, I added a sprinkle of cinnamon and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper, along with a tablespoon of maple syrup and salt. The result was a caramelized sweet and salty (and just-a-little-bit spicy) snack. What are you favorite roasted seed additions?
Other fall-ish foods from the archive:
Decorating with edible gourds, right this way.