Last updated on February 9th, 2015
One of my favorite things about October (other than the prevalence of orange in all decorating schemes) is that carving pumpkins also means roasting pumpkin seeds. Half the reason Dan and I do so many jack o’ lanterns for Halloween is to let me get to the tasty, tasty seeds inside.
Though I roast a huge quantity of pumpkin seeds every October, they are as seasonal to me as artichokes and strawberries—I eat my homemade stash until it’s gone but just don’t buy pepitas to snack on any other time of year. So it didn’t occur to me until the ingredients were assembled to photograph Natalie’s salad that I had neglected to buy any pepitas on my grocery run.
I was just going to fudge it and hope that no one detected their absence in the photo. But while prepping the butternut squash, I noticed for the first time that its seeds were essentially half-size versions of pumpkin seeds. They’re both squashes, after all—so why not try to roast the seeds the same way?
I rinsed, patted dry, and tossed the seeds with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, then roasted them in a 425˚ oven alongside the diced butternut squash. As expected, they came out golden brown and crunchy, just like their larger pumpkin cousins would. What an unexpectedly happy example of “nose-to-tail” vegetable eating!
Oh, and if you are a pumpkin-carving fanatic too, you might want to upgrade your tools to this sweet Williams-Sonoma set. Thanks to a gift card, we are now proud owners and will no longer be using our old plastic tools or, even worse, a set of somewhat dull chefs’ knives that the previous tenants of my college apartment left behind. Ideas for this year’s jack o’ lantern theme (we usually carve four) also welcomed in the comments.