Go full Halloween this year (and help cut down on food waste) by eating the innards of your jack o’lantern. Here are two of our favourite ways to serve this much maligned veg…
Creamy Pumpkin Risotto with Bacon & Leeks
50ml olive oil
1 leek, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 slices of bacon, chopped to 1cm pieces
210g arborio rice
950ml hot chicken broth
235ml white wine
330g pumpkin puree
Crispy sage leaves
Black pepper to taste
1. To make the pumpkin puree, remove all the seeds from the pumpkin (and save them for the recipe below) put large chunks of pumpkin on a tray and roast in the oven with a little olive oil for about 45mins or until very soft and golden. Once cooked, put the soft pumpkin pieces straight into a food processer (if there’s any skin attached and it has caramelized and soft, it can go in too). Blitz until smooth.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the leeks and cook for about five minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook for two more minutes. Add the bacon and fry until it starts to get crispy.
3. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for a few minutes until it is slightly toasted. Add about 235ml of broth and cook, stirring, until it has been absorbed into the rice. Repeat this process with the remaining broth and the white wine.
4. Stir in the pumpkin, black pepper and cook for a few more minutes.
5. Just before you’re ready to eat, scatter some of the roasted seeds (see below) over the top. You could serve in a carved out pumpkin bowl, even!
Roast Pumpkin Seeds
Fennel seeds (crushed in a pestle and mortar)
Scoop out the seeds from your pumpkin, trying to separate them from the orange stands that come with them. Then soak the seeds for a minute or two in cold water and drain. Heat your oven to 180 and, once the seeds are fairly dry, tip them onto a large baking tray.
Add a good glug of olive oil, a tablespoon or so of crushed fennel, and a few good pinches of sea salt (don’t be stingy) and give it a good mix. Pop them in the oven and, while they’re roasting, give them an occasional stir to prevent sticking and burning. When they have turned golden, they’re done. It should take about 10 minutes. They’ll keep for weeks in an airtight jar and are delicious on salads, soups, in bread, or just as a snack.