Tips for perfectly roasted pumpkin seeds

My favorite part of Halloween is carving the jack o’lantern (working on it during football Sunday) and then roasting the seeds.pumpkin seed recipes

Last year I was talking to chef Rodney Murillo of Avila Modern Mediterranean in Boston, who revealed that he loves roasted pumpkin seeds, too. He snacks on them and uses them to garnish a yellow beet and goat cheese salad he makes each autumn.

Here are his tips for perfectly roasted pumpkin seeds, which taste great throughout the season.

1) Run the seeds several times under cold water to wash off the pumpkin goop.

2) Pat the seeds dry with paper towels.

3) Leave the seeds out overnight to dry completely.

4) Preheat the oven very low, about 175 degrees.

5) Bake the seeds in a non-stick pan for 45 minutes, frequently mixing them around so that they cook evenly.

6) While the seeds are roasting, take a generous amount of sea salt and grind it finely with a mortar and pestle or in a coffee grinder.

7) After 45 minutes, and the seeds have darkened, remove them and test for doneness. “They’re done when you hear the crack when you bite into them and get a nutty flavor right away,” said Murillo. “The darker they get, the nuttier they get.”

8 ) Immediately move the seeds to a room-temperature pan so that they stop cooking, and quickly sprinkle generously with finely ground sea salt while seeds are still hot.

9) Feel free to experiment. “A lot of chefs like to use a little nutmeg or cinnamon, to get more of a sweet flavor for desserts,” said Murillo.

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