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Monday November 15, 2010

Seed Savers snacktastic

This time of year, all kinds of winter squash flood my kitchen: butternut, spaghetti, calabaza, acorn, kabocha, sweet dumpking, you name it.

I’ve worked in restaurants since the age of 14, which probably explains for a lot. Certainly my inability to throw edible things away. If something possesses even a smidge of culinary value, I save it. Scraps of parsley for stock, heels of parm diced in my soup, rerolled pie dough for rugula. I can drop the food cost of a menu ten percent if given the chance.

So, of course, I can’t bear to throw out the squash seeds. I know you toss them out, that’s normal. And I mean, what are you supposed to do with 3 Tbsp of seeds from that one squash anyway?

Hoard them. Like a squirrel.

Individually they have no value, but when their numbers climb high enough to measure in cups, they have power. Massively crunchy, toasty, nutty culinary power.

Pumpkin seed and vanilla bean brittle

Every autumn and lasting through the winter, I have a mason jar of squash seeds in my fridge in one state of fullness or another. It sits there, waiting for me to make another squash soup or butternut squash lasagna. Whenever I do, I scrape the seeds into the jar instead of the trash. Then, back in the fridge it goes, awaiting the day when it fills completely and I have a spare 30 minutes to deal with it.

Between Mr. Bravetart’s garden and our CSA, we have a lot of winter squash to plow through, which is fine by me. I love this time of year and the food it brings. To me, autumn equals bowls butternut squash soup, spaghetti squash tossed with pesto, calabanza roasted with maple and sage, wild rice stuffed acorn squash, and kabocha tempura. And every one of those dishes adds a few more seeds to my jar until eventually it fills to the brim.

When it does?

close up of pumpkin seed brittle

I make a batch of squash seed brittle. An amazing snack even out of hand, but broken up over ice cream or alongside Panna Cotta? Transformative. Jazz up your Thanksgiving pumpkin pie with a sprinkle of the brittle served alongside.

So, please. Get out a mason jar, label it “Nirvana in the Making” and have it at the ready. Make like a squirrel and hoard!

posted byStellaand filed under:  Farms  Gluten Free  Lactose Free  Sideshow Photos

6 comments and counting

Nov 21, 2010 · 11:31 PM

what a great idea…i can’t wait to try! i love how you don’t even have to shell em.

 · jess [mycameraeatsfood] ·

Nov 23, 2010 · 12:27 PM

Yeah, if I had to shell them? It would never happen. So grateful they’re this easy!


Nov 24, 2010 · 10:11 AM

I can’t believe I’ve never seen my favorite sweet thing-vanilla bean-this close before! True love.

 · Mallowsota · 

Nov 24, 2010 · 10:53 PM

true love is 38 days away!!!


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