Sitting on a train, listening to music and watching your point of origin morph into your destination out the window is a lovely way to travel. But if you’re not into dry, sparse sandwiches packed in too much plastic, or greasy, limp offerings from the neon shopfronts at the station, then eating on a train can be disappointing. In preparation for a 3-hour trip on the Long Island Rail Road this week, I packed myself a little snack.
I generally choose salty over sweet; a bag of potato chips will not last long in my presence. Though if sweet combines with salty, well, that is an elevated snack.
Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, are a solid performing bite to eat on their own. When they’re roasted with a spicy-sweet combination of flavours, these seeds develop their naturally chewy, subtly sweet nuttiness into a richer, crunchier and altogether more satisfying treat.
Just mix the pepitas with the oil, spices, lime and salt, and roast for 20 minutes. Pack your bag while they’re in the oven and when you’re done you’ll have a jar of lightly spiced seeds ready for the journey (even if that journey is just to work).
These seeds not just good as a snack. They will spice up and add a satisfying crunch to a salad. Or add some flavour to a bowl of lightly steamed veggies on a bed of brown rice. They also make a good party starter while you’re pouring your guests their first drinks of the evening. Make a batch and store them in an air-tight container, ready for spicy, crunchy requirements such as these.
Prep time: 3 minutes! Cook time: 20 minutes
- 2 cups pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 150°c / 300°F. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, give it a good mix, then lay pepitas in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Toast until seeds are golden and crunchy, about 20 minutes. Give it a stir half way through to make sure they cook evenly.
(Recipe from Everyday Food magazine, October 2011. Yes, a lot of the recipes I make come from Martha Stewart. It’s an occupational hazard of having worked there.)
p.s Hello to everyone who found me via Freshly Pressed! It is lovely to meet you.