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Salted pumpkin seeds: how to make an Italian treat

Hi all, today I’m going to talk about a summer treat: salted pumpkin seeds.

First of all, one is already there, lurking in your backyard’s garden.
And it’s growing bigger by the day.
Of course, I’m talking about pumpkins but you can use also giant zucchini.

With both of them, you can make Italian brustolini, toasted and salted pumpkin seeds. Therefore a simple salted gluttony from the good olden days.

Brustolini: an Italian food story

Brustolini or bruscolini are the plural words of brustolino and bruscolino. Also, you can say brustulli (bru-stu-lli) as a true bolognese.

Brustulli have been considered old-fashion and a little obsolete from many years.
All of a sudden today we find pumpkin seeds everywhere, stored in handy plastic bags, thanks to the reintroduction of seeds and nuts in many diets.

Some years back they were sold by the bulk by a “brustolinaio” or “brustolinaia” (the name of the men and the woman who sold them).

And until the end of the Sixties, you could find these characters a little everywhere selling these delicious snacks. They carried their baskets or boxes to the movie, theaters, dancing rooms or to the stadium during the Sunday soccer match.

Probably we could consider brustolini like the Italian version of the American popcorn.

Salted pumpkin seeds: how to make an Italian treat

How to make homemade salted pumpkin seeds

As I said, today we find toasted, savory and peeled pumpkin seeds everywhere.
Somehow, it was feeling like the end of a poetry era. Some nostalgia took me. I thought, in the end, pragmatism won.

Then something happened. I stumbled into my vegetable garden. Literally
You know, summer is the most beautiful season for the garden. But Summer means also vacation and travel time!

I ignored my garden for a couple of weeks and when I came back, I found that my zucchini were blown up. In a metaphoric way this time. If you too have ignored the situation until you just can’t anymore, now you’ve got to do something before it’s too late.

And it was at this point that I discovered that I could make homemade brutolini.


How to make homemade brustolini 

I thought they were good for nothing until an old farmer told me: “I have the right tip for you”. As Neo in the front of the Oracle, I was attending the greatest revelation.

And here it is for you: not only form pumpkin, but also from those long-green-zucchini you can make brustolini and you don’t even have to turn the oven on (in a very hot Italian summer day that is a true revelation).


If you have giant round zucchini….sorry!, there are no seeds inside, but you can use them as home decorations.

Use some seeds to grow new plants in your garden or terrace.

To make the skin very tasty, after washing the seeds, put them in a bowl of water and salt and leave them to soak for 24 hours (every two glasses of water, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt.


for 3 little jars

1 pumpkin or 4 giant zucchini
salt or sweet paprika to taste


Wait until your veggies become giant and yellow. When they are really big, pick them and lay them in the sun for some days until they become even yellower, remember to turn them.

When zucchini or pumpkin are ready, cut them and scoop out the seeds.

In order to make brustolini, clean the seeds under water and place them in the sun for about 15 days.

If you don’t want to wait 15 days, let them dry for a few days and then toast them in a no-stick pan or in the oven already hot (45 minutes at 160 degrees C), turning them often.

When they’re ready, flavor with salt or paprika and place them in a jar, ready for aperitivo.

Salted pumpkin seeds: how to make an Italian treat

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