Serve crunchy toasted pumpkin seeds as an accompaniment to cocktails and other simple hors d'oeuvres. Roast up several different batches – one sweet, one spicy and one simply salted. Preparation: about 20 minutes, cooking: 70 minutes.
Makes about 3 cups
1 large pumpkin
5 cups water
1½ Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Scoop out seeds from pumpkin onto a clean work surface. Discard stringy fiber from seeds, then transfer to a strainer and rinse well. In a medium pot, bring water to a boil. Add seeds, reduce heat and boil gently for 10 minutes. Drain well, then transfer to a paper towel and pat dry. Toss seeds with oil (adding spices noted below if you like) and spread them out in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Toast seeds, stirring every 10 minutes, until just crisp and golden brown, about 1 hour total. Allow to cool completely before serving.
For spicy pumpkin seeds: mix ½ teaspoon each garlic salt, cumin, coriander and cardamom with seeds and oil before toasting.
For sweet pumpkin seeds: mix 1 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, cloves and ginger and 1½ Tablespoons brown sugar with seeds and oil before toasting.