LOS ANGELES, October 20, 2015 — As we near Halloween and carve pumpkins, don’t forget about roasting both the pumpkin and the seeds. Roasted pumpkin is a delicious side dish that can be paired with chicken and you can use the seeds in a delicious fall salad or eat them plain. Here are the basics to roasting both pumpkins and pumpkin seeds.
How to Roast Pumpkins:
This “how to” is for small to medium sized baking pumpkins also known as pie pumpkins. These are smaller than decorative pumpkins and easier to handle and cut.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Use a large chef knife to cut off the stem and the bottom of the pumpkin.
Slice the pumpkin in half — running from where the stem used to be to the bottom of the pumpkin.
Use a strong spoon to scoop out the seeds and pumpkin strings.
Spray oil to grease the bottom of a baking dish.
Drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper on the interior meat of the pumpkin and then place the pumpkin halves on the baking dish, open side down.
Cover with foil and bake for an hour and ten minutes. Let cool and serve or add it to other dishes to create a more seasonal meal. (The skin of a pumpkin is rather tough and will hold its shape when it’s being roasted.)
You can enjoy these deliciously roasted pumpkins as a side dish, such as mashed pumpkins: (use a vegetable puree tool) with a sprinkling of brown sugar and butter. It can also present as butternut squash or even turn into a delicious pumpkin soup. Whatever way you choose to serve pumpkins it will bring the season into full bloom.
How to roast perfect pumpkin seeds
It’s time to roll up your sleeves and clean out your pumpkin.
Remove the seeds and the gooey membranes from the pumpkin.
Soak the seeds in water (the membranes of the pumpkin will fall to the bottom of your bowl and the seeds will float to the top).
Lightly dry off the seeds and place them into a bowl.
Toss the seeds with salt.
Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
Place the seeds into a 300-degree oven and toast for 10-15 minutes.
Flip the seeds in the pan to make sure they do not burn.
Add a little more crunch to the pumpkin seeds by increasing the temperature to 325 for six to eight more minutes, but keep a close watch so they don’t burn.
Once the seeds are nice and toasty check them to see if they need any more salt and, at this point, if you want to change things up add a little brown sugar, cinnamon or paprika.
For more great cooking tips, recipes and stories from Chef Mary, visit her website. Follow Chef Mary on Twitter @chefmarymoran
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