Roasted Squash Seeds

Pumpkins aren’t the only fall squash with delicious seeds to roast: Butternut, Red Kuri and many others have seeds worthy of crisping up in a hot oven.

Ingredients:
1 squash of your choice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds, using your fingers to separate the seeds from the stringy flesh. Put seeds in a large bowl.

2. Cover seeds with cool water and and swish around. Pull off any bits of squash still clinging to the seeds. Drain squash seeds and shake off any excess water. Spread on a clean kitchen towel or paper towels and dry thoroughly.

3. Put seeds in a bowl and toss with vegetable oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat thoroughly.

4. Spread seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until golden and crispy, about 15 minutes. Let cool at least slightly and serve warm or at room temperature.

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Roasted Grapes with Thyme

These juicy grapes boast an intense flavor, and are wonderful served with toasted pumpernickel bread.

Ingredients:
1 pound Neptune grapes, rinsed and stemmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. In a large sheet pan, mix grapes, olive oil, fresh thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Bake, shaking pan occasionally, until grapes are beginning to blister, 15-18 minutes. Use immediately or let stand until ready to use, up to 4 hours.

Buttered Radishes

These dipped radishes make for a wonderful starter or snack!

Ingredients:
Baby radishes, green tops intact
1 pound butter, at room temperature
2½ tablespoons fleur de sel

Method:
1. Gently wash the radishes in ice water, removing any dirt from the greens. Dry them well.

2. Temper the butter by placing it over moderate heat.* Once tempered, season the butter with the fleur de sel.

3. Dip the bottom half of the radishes into the tempered butter. Dip a second time and gently shake to remove any excess butter from the bottom. Place the butter-coated radish on a rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper. Chill the radishes in the refrigerator until the butter is set.

*To temper butter, it’s easiest to use a double boiler, placing the butter over a pot of boiling water instead of directly heating the butter. Let the butter melt and heat up, then whisk occasionally until it thickens and stabilizes. It’s fully tempered when it has the consistency of melted chocolate.

Eggplant Caponata

This traditional Tuscan relish is lovely on toasted crostini.

Ingredients:
1 sweet onion, minced
1 eggplant, chopped into ½-inch chunks
2 sweet grilling peppers, seeded and chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 celery stalks, thinly-sliced
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons golden raisins
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon capers
Sea salt and pepper
Fresh basil leaves, torn

Method:
1. Add chopped onion in a skillet with the olive oil, and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add chopped celery stalk, peppers and eggplant and cook for an additional 4-6 minutes until vegetables are tender.

2. Add golden raisins, chopped oregano and about ½ cup water. Bring mixture to a simmer, and allow water to evaporate, cooking about 8-10 minutes

3. Add cherry tomatoes and cider vinegar and capers; cook for about 5 minutes, until mixture is uniform and tomatoes are beginning to burst. Season with salt and pepper and top with torn basil.

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