Toasted Pumpkin Seed Recipe

October 16th 2017

Jon and I carved our Jack-o-Lanterns last night. We carved them out of beautiful local pumpkins and had more fun than adults should be allowed while carving silly faces in large orange members of the Cucurbit family.

Until I met Jon, it had been years since I’d carved a pumpkin (maybe even since I was a teenager still living at home). Jon had much more experience than me. He raised two sons and carved pumpkins with them every year until they moved away.   He couldn’t imagine a Halloween season without a Jack-O-Lantern or two to greet us at the door in the evening. He got me back on the carving wagon. This is our third year carving together.

Jon is a pro pumpkin carver. He lays out his special knives and scoop next to his victim before he begins. Then he sketches his design in removable ink on the side of his squash that will enhance his creation the most. He scoops out the guts with a few deft flicks of his wrist. His lid is never too small and his faces are always animated and perfectly frightful when lit from within.

I won’t even begin to tell you about my inadequacies as a carver. I’ll just tell you that the burn on the palm of my hand, which I got while trying to get the candle into my, once again, too small lid, still smarts.  I continue to carve pumpkins for one reason: I love toasted pumpkin seeds!

Here’s my recipe:

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Seeds from as many pumpkins as you carved

Salt or seasoning of your choice

Olive oil (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Rinse the seeds well in warm water, removing any bits of flesh. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt to taste, any seasoning you’d like to add, and enough olive oil to very lightly coat the seeds.  Place in a single layer on a baking sheet (it might take two sheets if you’ve carved lots of pumpkins).  Bake for 20-30 minutes, shaking and stirring every five minutes. The seeds are done when the inside and outside are dry and the seed coating is slightly tanned.  Try no to eat them all in one sitting!

Flavoring ideas:

Chili Powder
Garlic Salt
Cheese topping for popcorn
Cinnamon and salt
Cumin and cayenne
Italian seasoning