Like the prize in your cereal box, pumpkins and winter squash come complete with a lil' something extra. They're generously filled with seeds that are wonderful when roasted. That's right, you get to have your squash and eat the seeds too!
While pumpkins seem to have the monopoly on roasted seeds, they're not the only seeds in the biz. Try roasting the seeds from your butternut, acorn, or kabocha squash, as well as any other winter squash that you like, for an equally satisfying delight.
This is my method for roasting pumpkin or winter squash seeds:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Scoop out all of the seeds from the inside of the squash. Remove as much of the flesh as possible. Give the seeds a good couple rounds of rinses, draining after each, until they look and feel very clean, with as much of the pulp gone as possible. Pat them dry with either a paper towel or a cloth towel, but don't spend too much time trying to dry them. Put them on a roasting pan, add a nice slug of olive oil, a shake or two of salt and pepper, and mix. Sometimes I like to add other spices and seasonings, depending on my mood. Perhaps a little cinnamon and nutmeg, or some fennel seeds, or maybe a little cayenne, or sometimes a dash of sugar. Whatever sounds good to you will probably taste delish on your roasted pumpkin or squash seeds. Pop them in the oven and give them a little toss every five-ten minutes or so. Take them out in about fifteen-twenty minutes, or once they're browned. Yum!
So get crackin' on your winter squash! Crack 'em open, eat 'em up, and toast up those seeds for a one-of-a-kind, two-for-one food!