If you've still got a pumpkin to carve, you are in for a treat. And if you don't, I insist that you dash to the nearest pumpkin patch immediately to get in on said treat.
The other day, while I was having tea and cookies with a friend, the husband was off carving pumpkins. Check out this gem, circa our early days together.
See the "scars" above his eye and down the side of his face?
No, not the husband...the pumpkin!
At the pumpkin patch, we felt bad for this little guy, so we decided to "take him in". Our house would probably be a zoo if I wasn't allergic to cats and dogs. I sort of like how we gave him a lopsided mouth. He looks happy, don't you think?
Alright, enough about inanimate objects with feelings...
Let's talk about pumpkin seeds! The husband gifted me with a container full of pumpkin seeds after his carving party. He sure knows the way to my heart. I immediately started thinking of all the possibilities...cinnamon and spice, coconut and curry, olive oil and herbes de provence...
Naturally, I picked something that creates a bit of a mess while recipe developing. Sticky honey, clingy orange zest, and thyme leaves that fly everywhere when plucked from their sprig. But, isn't that part of the joy of cooking? The earthy thyme cuts the sweetness in these just enough. And the bright orange lifts you up from the cold and dreary days of fall. I promise that a small mess is worth it. You'll see. If you can handle Rice Krispie Treats, you've got this in the bag.
I adore pumpkin seeds. In fact, I add pepitas (the green seed inside the white husk) to my yogurt or oatmeal for a heart-healthy boost just about every morning. But this time of the year, I like to raid my spice drawer and eat them whole with any number of fantastic flavorings. These would be brillant with a lamb or beef stew. Or tossed with a plate of pasta or autumn salad.
Also, I am positively certain that these seeds provide an ample dose of happiness.
The proof: After I made these, I went for a glorious run in the momentary Seattle sunshine. There were fist pumps, mid-stride dance parties, and lyric beltings to Nicki Minaj all over the place. (I promise I usually have good taste in music. Just not when I run.) I can't say that I'm surprised...with their high tryptophan content and the bright echoes from the orange and honey, these pumpkin seeds are bound to have anyone seeing ponies and rainbows. Or maybe it was just that burst of sunshine after a week of unrelentless rain.
Either way, enjoy.
What flavors have you tried on your pumpkin seeds?
honey toasted pumpkin seeds with orange + thyme // makes 1 cup
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed juice from an orange
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
1 cup pumpkin seeds, rinsed and dried well
1 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, orange zest, orange juice, honey, and thyme. Add pumpkin seeds and toss well to coat. Add sea salt and toss again. Spread mixture in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 10-14 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until toasted and golden. Sprinkle with additional thyme or sea salt, if desired. Let cool for just a few minutes, then stir and transfer to a clean plate or bowl to avoid sticking to the pan. (Trust me, I learned this the hard way.) Store in an air-tight container.