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A pumpkin carving contest, then roast & cook the rest. How Foodimentary!

A recipe for fun!

A "How to" on recycling your  Halloween pumpkin.

Halloween is upon us.  It seems like yesterday there were green leaves on the trees and kids running around the neighborhood all day in bare feet.

No more...

School bells rang and soon after maples, oaks, & poplars became golden and burgundy beauties.
 Fall blew in & so did the leaves.

On a resent afternoon Pardis Stitt, James Beard award winning chef Frank Stitt's lovely wife, called on a whim
"Can you come judge a pumpkin contest?"

Without thinking I said "Of Course! What time & where?"

"Bottega 6 tonight?" was 3:00..."See you soon"

I arrived to a row of neatly carved & presented pumpkins. Each with a specific point of view & attention to detail that will make my paltry attempt of carving seem well....childish.

"Don't they look wonderful, each of our chef's carved one.  The winner gets a Magnum of wine. It's for our 21st year here...Can you believe it?

Now which one is the best?"

"Let me take a look..." I said

"We are roasting the seeds for bar snacks."

Now that was a Foodimentary moment..reusing your pumpkin seeds.

Roasted Pumpkin Seed recipe below.
Best in show!
Chefs John Rolen & Daniel DiLella of Bottega Favorita
Most Creative!
Chef Warren Weiss of Bottega Cafe'

Recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


Take pumpkin seeds for your carving endeavor

Some people prefer not to wash the seeds before baking because they think it removes all the natural flavor. They, instead, remove the seeds from the strings and place a single layer on a cookie sheet. Try and make an even layer, the less they lay on each other, the better they can bake.

Add salt to taste and bake at 250° until dry, stirring occasionally. I bake mine for about 15 to 30 minutes or until the start to turn a very light gold.

Italian Spiced Pumpkin Seeds
You can also spice them up by mixing:

 A few sprigs of fresh Rosemary, 5 tablespoons sugar ,1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, Pinch cayenne pepper or to taste, and 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil. Prepare seeds as above but line the cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl combine 3 tablespoons of the sugar and the salt, cumin, cinnamon, ginger,  and cayenne.

Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add pumpkin seeds (after baked) and 2 tablespoons sugar. Cook until sugar melts and the pumpkin seeds begin to caramelize, about 45 to 60 seconds. Transfer to bowl with spices and stir well to coat. Let cool.

You can store them in an airtight container for up to 1 week

Enjoy your holiday!