November, 2013 – Megan Miln

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds (in the microwave)

I’m often surprised at what you can successfully cook in the microwave. My first discovery was pappadums, followed by the prawn crackers you get at Chinese restaurants. Both of these are usually deep fried, but they puff up just as well when microwaved for a minute, without any oil at all.

Toasted pumpkin seeds

This week, I added pumpkin seeds to the list. Pumpkins have started appearing in our market, and I picked up a slice this week. By coincidence, I found this post about toasting pumpkin seeds in my RSS reader around the same time.

Since the oven feature on our combination microwave doesn’t work particularly well on its own, I looked around to see if I could use some combination of microwaving and grilling the seeds instead. And it turns out, just microwaving them is enough.

I washed the seeds, and tossed them with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and smoked paprika then put them on a plate in the microwave for 2 minutes. After 30 seconds, the microwave had filled entirely with smoke, and I wondered whether this was a good idea. I opened the door, and the smoke (which was more likely steam) dissipated quickly. Nothing seemed to be burning, so I carried on.

I microwaved the seeds for about 4 minutes in total. They continued to produce huge amounts of steam for the first 3 minutes; I checked on them every 30 seconds or so, to reassure myself they weren’t about to catch fire. In the last minute the steam stopped completely, and the seeds made a crackling sound. When I pulled them out they were golden, crunchy, and delicious.