A few weeks ago when we mentioned roasting Delicata squash slices fast and hot like we do okra, a reader named Johanna wrote:
don’t forget, or in case you didn’t know, the seeds of the Delicata squash make some of the loveliest roasted seeds of the pumpkin/squash family! just as ”delicate” as the squash!
just coat the seeds whole, with olive oil and a variety of seasonings that appeal to you or the season..
we think they are best with great salt, EVOO, and chili flakes/powder. they only take 10-15 minutes in the oven and what is very nice is that they can cook in the same roasting oven as the squash meat (for shorter time), and can be used as a garnish for whatever you are having with the squash: great on dark green salads, and nice on vegetable winter soup, or on tip of rice…
We took Johanna’s advice that “they can cook in the same roasting oven as the squash meat” to heart and streamlined the process even further (because we’re lazy and hungry). Rather then scooping out the seeds, separating them from the membrane and roasting them, we thought: Why not just leave the seeds in tact, and roast the squash slices with them still in place?
We we sliced the squash into 1/4-inch thick circles and threw them onto a hot oiled sheet pan as is our usual method, brushed them with more olive oil and sprinkled salt and pepper and roasted them, turning once. We discovered a crazily addictive combo platter: tender caramelized squash with crispy-chewy seeds. We could not stop eating them and wonder why we haven’t read about this before. Are we secretly crazy? In our laziness and hurry have we become...barbarians?
Without the seeds, you get this neat little package, creamy and chewy but without the crunch:
We tried the seeds-left-in method on an Acorn squash and found it worked just fine. Because those squashes are bigger and slicing them can be trickier, we tried halving the squash as well and slicing it crosswise, taking care to keep the seeds with them. Still fine!
It’s not really a recipe, but a method:
Winter Squash Roasted with their Seeds
Use as much squash as fits in a single layer on a sheet pan or two. If you use two sheet pans at once, rotate and reverse their position periodically.
Small to Medium-Sized Winter Squash such as Delicata, Acorn or Butternut
Extra-virgin olive oil
Any seasonings you like, such as curry powder, garam masala, fresh rosemary etc
Preheat the oven to 450′. Place a heavy sheet pan or even cast iron skillets in the oven while you prep the squash. Slice the squash crosswise into 1/4-inch rounds, leaving the seeds intact. If the squash is too big to manage this, slice it in half lengthwise first, then slice crosswise into 1/4-inch thick half moons. Brush the hot baking sheet with olive oil and arrange the slices in one layer on it. Brush the tops of the squash slices, sprinkle with salt and pepper and any seasonings you like.
Roast for 20-25 minutes, turning the pan once in the oven, until the slices are well browned on the underside. Remove the slices that are very dark —usually the ones on the edges of the pan — to a platter. Turn the remaining slices over with a fork or spatula, and roast five to seven minutes longer. Serve at once.