We'd like to take a moment to celebrate laziness.
If it weren't for a glut of leftover seeds, Stony Brook WholeHeartedFoods' superb new kabocha-seed oil ($12 for 187 ml) would never have been born.
When Martin Farms in the Finger Lakes-area of New York was left with 40,000 pounds of seeds after peeling, seeding, slicing and dicing acres of the winter squash into ready-to-cook packages, its owners looked for an alternative to the compost pile.
So the farm teamed with Stony Brook's Greg Woodworth and Kelly Coughlin to produce the just-released caramel-colored oil, for which 10-pound batches of lightly oven-roasted squash seeds are cold-pressed and then bottled by hand.
The kabocha-seed oil is merely the latest in Stony Brook's line of distinctive winter-squash oils. The company also offers butternut, acorn, delicata and pumpkin seed varieties in a range of colors that stretch from verdant green to golden amber.
We've grabbed hold of the dark-green glass bottles and whisked the oils into salad dressings, drizzled them onto hummus, poured them onto potatoes and enlivened every green imaginable. We've even tipped the bottles onto our morning oatmeal and evening pistachio ice cream.
Now the hardest part of dinner--or dessert--is choosing which bottle to reach for.
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