One of the best parts of fall–at least in my house–is pumpkin seeds. I know they’re sold in stores in nice packages, but it’s so much more satisfying–not to mention delicious–to toast them yourself. I made the first batch of many last night and they were gone within a couple of hours. There are many different recipes, but I like to keep it very simple.
First, I have to get the seeds out of the pumpkin. This is the messy and gross part, but if you’re not planning to carve the pumpkin it’s not as difficult, as you don’t have to make sure the inside of the pumpkin gets scraped well. I simply pull out the seeds, put them in a colander, and rinse as much of the “guts” off as possible. If a few bits of pumpkin remain, it’s no big deal. In fact, I think it enhances the taste.
While they’re still in the colander, I drizzle vegetable oil over them. I don’t have an exact recipe, so I would estimate a couple of tablespoons–give or take. I then salt them well with regular table salt. I’m going to guesstimate I use a little under a tablespoon. Like so many cooks, I eyeball most measurements. I stir the seeds around to evenly distribute the oil and salt, then spread onto a cookie sheet. I try to get them as close to a single layer as possible so that each seed gets toasted. (I say as close as possible because the little suckers like to stick together!).
The seeds then go into a 350 degree oven until they’re lightly brown and have a dry look to them.
That’s it! Once cool, I remove them from the cookie sheet and pray they last long enough for me to get a few.
Last night I saved a few for a friend of mine, as she had never had them with only salt and oil. Apparently I failed to mention those seeds were reserved and daughter #1 ate them while she was pulling an all-nighter for school. Oh, well. There will definitely be many more batches made before pumpkin season is over!