Who doesn’t love a snack with their pre-dinner drink? Oven roasted pumpkin seeds are perfect. They are quick and simple to make and all the more enjoyable for knowing you are using something that would typically be a food scrap. We have a worm farm and a compost heap for some of the tougher items that would take the worms an eternity to get through, such as watermelon skins. Of course, finding a seeded watermelon these days is a minor miracle. I find that other seeds such as rockmelon or pumpkin often sprout in the worm farm before they can be eaten. Making this snack reduces the amount of seeds in the vegetable scraps.
I had never heard of the concept of Cook’s Treat until Nigella mentioned it on one of her shows. Typically, most cooks share the best of the meal with those they are cooking for. That’s what I used to do. She turned that idea on its head for me and boldly suggested that the cook should have a treat for preparing the meal. Nothing big, just a little tidbit. The extra Yorkshire Pudding, an extra crunchy morsel of bread from the Cretan Dakos, a chicken oyster, the last dollop of lemon curd scrapped from the bowl. I like her style! Make the roasted pumpkin seeds whilst you’re preparing dinner and they become the Cook’s Treat for doing such a wonderful job.
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
- When you’re preparing pumpkin for a meal, make sure you scoop out and set aside the seeds.
- Separate the seeds from the membrane and place them in a single layer on a baking tray, spray with some olive oil or canola spray and sprinkle with some salt and/or other spices of your choice.
- Place them in a 170c oven for approx 15 – 20 minutes. Stir the seeds halfway through and watch them towards the end so they don’t burn. If they start to pop in the oven, you know they are ready to be taken out (though they don’t need to pop to be finished).
- Allow to cool and then serve as a snack
I actually find these even better if the uncooked seeds spend a night on a tray on the bench. It allows them to dry out and makes them extra crunchy when they are cooked (they will also cook a little faster).