Kate Harrison, Chair of Seedy Sunday, eats her seeds and brings us her simple recipe:
If we’re lucky, now is the time we have a tempting array of fantastically coloured and shaped squashes in our homes. We might be storing them for later if we can wait that long, or slicing into their skins to reveal tasty yellow and orange flesh ready to roast.
But what to do with the seeds that nestle in the fibrous centres? As Chair of Seedy Sunday, you might think that I’d be telling you to save them for our event (when’s that? I hear you ask: 7th February 2021 at the Open Market on London Road).
But no! Remember, squashes and other cucurbits are very ‘promiscuous’. I’m not judging, but in this case, it means they cross pollinate with any other squashes and courgettes around. This may mean they don’t ‘grow true’ – and this can have terrible consequences, as we found out earlier this year with a bad batch of seeds that grew toxic courgettes. This article from BHAF explains it well.
So don’t save your squash seeds, eat them! It’s very easy, as I found. Once roasted, they’re so tasty to eat, crispy outer skin and all, and they’re good for you too.
Here’s the method I used:
First of all, cut your squash open. With thick-skinned squashes, I’ve found it can be helpful to use a bradawl to score or perforate the skin around the circumference and make it easier to get your knife in safely.
Scoop the seeds out with a spoon, and then rinse off the fibres in a colander
Then dry the seeds – I used paper towel, and then left them for a few days on a plate. They don’t have to be completely dried out as they would if you were saving them for a long time.
Then, mix them in a bowl with a small amount of your preferred oil, and some seasoning. I only had a handful of seeds here, so I used about half a teaspoon of olive oil and a large pinch of seasoning. I used salt, paprika and cumin powder, but there are lots of variations you can try, including: all-purpose seasoning, fennel seed and salt, coriander seeds and curry powder, salt and chilli flakes or powder.
Then, spread them out on baking parchment on a tray, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 180c/ gas mark 5. Keep and eye and ear out – you will hear them start to ‘pop’, and that’s the time to take them out. I also tried them in the microwave – a minute or two was fine, with a cover over the bowl to stop the oil from spitting everywhere. They crisp up as they cool. Once cooled completely, you can store them in an airtight jar for a week or so.