Walking home tonight through the most recent snow and ice storm (I predict at least 1-2 mini storms before the flowers push through), I got lost listening to my iPod and dreaming about leftovers from last night’s squash and bean salad. So, my 15 minute walk took 40. I entered my home cold, dripping, glasses foggy. After dropping my bag and coat and hat and scarf and gloves, I raced to the fridge, grabbed the lemon-painted mixing bowl that I made yesterday’s salad in, and popped it in the microwave for a minute. No fire. No atmosphere. Just food.
Sitting on the counter were the now-dried squash seeds that I had cleaned the night before. I recalled really enjoying making and eating roasted pumpkin seeds when I was in kindergarten. (I went to one of those Montessori Schools so we did a lot of hands-on experimentation and practical things. Why they needed to take a school picture of me polishing silver is a whole other discussion….) So, I prepared them quickly and threw them in the oven as a second experiment in as many days.
Less than an hour later, after virtually licking my dinner bowl clean, I pulled the seeds out of the oven, put them in a little Japanese dipping bowl and could barely take a few pictures before eating all of them in a few minutes flat, licking the salt off my fingers between the warm crunchy bites.
Roasted Squash Seeds
Serving size depends on number and size of squash. 1 medium acorn squash yields 1/4-1/3 C seeds.
Cut squash in half and remove seeds and pith. Rinse seeds under water to free seeds from strings. Let dry overnight (you can probably skip this step).
Toss with oil (or just coat with spray oil such as Pam) and salt and lay in single layer on cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil.
Roast in oven at 300ºF for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and dry.
There are tons of other options for spicing the seeds, but since I haven’t done this before, I stuck with the basics and they were fantastic. Other thoughts:
– sweet and salty: toss with sugar and salt
– sweet and spicy: sugar, cayenne and salt
– curry powder and salt
– rosemary and salt
– lemon pepper, salt and citrus zest