The trees of Columbus are filled with beautiful colors and farmers markets are overflowing with fall favorites. Apples, gourds and squash are bountiful! From acorn squash to spaghetti squash to butternut squash to pumpkins, the opportunities for making delicious autumn dishes is plentiful.
The best part of the squash you can get this time of year — other than its Vitamins, fiber and antioxidants — is how easy it is to prepare. After you cut through its often tough skin, the colorful, easily coaxed flesh cooks in about a half hour, making soup a go to meal, even on a rushed weeknight. Roasted, steamed or boiled, squash goes well with a multitude of spices. Curry powder, Chinese five-spice powder, vanilla, spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger (fresh, powdered, or candied) are good compliments for squash.
One of my favorite treats this time of year is roasted pumpkins seeds. I always love finding a way to do a new twist on an old favorite. If you’re like me, I love adding some heat to my dishes. Try this recipe to add a kick to your roasted pumpkin seeds:
– 1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
– 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
– 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Scoop out the inside of your pumpkin, and separate seeds from pulp. Don’t worry if there’s a little pulp left on the seeds when you roast them—it only adds flavor. Just remove the biggest pieces so that the seeds are easy to toss.
3. In a bowl, toss the seeds with the olive oil, coating thoroughly. Add salt and seasonings.
4. Spread seeds in one even layer across a cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil.
5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the seeds are golden brown. Stir the seeds every so often while they’re baking, so that they toast evenly.