Sometimes you just need your greens, and a side salad is where it’s at. But even simple salads don’t have to be boring. Fresh, organic greens tossed with a quick vinaigrette and some delicious, spiced seeds or nuts will add a ton of pizzazz with little effort.

Nothing says fall like pumpkins, and roasted pumpkin seeds are the perfect fall salad accouterments. On their own they can be a bit plain, but when you roast them with international flavors and spices, they can add a ton of pizzazz to any salad or even to sauteed greens. Make them ahead and keep them in an airtight container so they’re ready to throw on your greens at a moment’s notice.

Here’s a simple recipe:

  1. Wash the seeds to separate them from the gooey pumpkin innards. You can put everything in a bowl of water and work them out.
  2. Simmer the seeds in salty water for about 10 minutes. This helps them roast more evenly. You can also use this as a final clean up of your seeds.
  3. Drain the seeds and dry them thoroughly with towels. They’ll bake up crunchier if they are dry when roasted.
  4. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  5. Place the dry seeds in a bowl and toss lightly with oil or melted butter so that they are coated evenly.
  6. Add salt or other seasonings (curry, chili powder, sriracha, tamari, five spice, onion powder — experiment!) to taste and, again, toss to coat evenly.
  7. Spread the seeds evenly in a single layer on a baking sheet (using parchment paper or aluminum foil makes clean up much easier).
  8. Roast at 325°F for approximately 25 minutes, but check on your seeds every 10 minutes to assess doneness. They should be crispy on the outside but tender on the inside.