The arrival of autumn and Halloween’s approach means one thing, and nope, it’s got nothing to do with Brexit. Instead, something much more interesting; it’s pumpkin season! But if you’ve spent the weekend carving Halloween faces into the winter squash, then why not take advantage of the gloriously low pumpkin prices and make use of that fibre-rich flesh?

To choose the best, go for one which feels heavy for its size, with a smooth, firm skin. After that, it’s time to get cooking. With the help of Steve Smith, Head Chef at Bohemia, here are 5 IDEAL cooking ideas for pumpkin season.

PUMPKIN PIE

If we can thank Americans for introducing us to a dessert, it’s got to be pumpkin pie. The smell of nutmeg and cinnamon wafting through the house should be nostalgic even for those born on this side of the pond, so make it happen.

This sweet, savoury treat makes a delectable autumn snack or dessert and is served best with a dollop of fresh cream on top. For optimum results, spend an extra hour in the kitchen making your own crust – it will be worth it.

PUMPKIN PANCAKES

Ditch the usual pancakes in favour of the pumpkin variety. Simply puree a cup of pumpkin and mix together with buttermilk along with the traditional pancake ingredients to create a stack of perfectly fluffy pumpkin cakes. Finish with a dollop of spiced ice cream, perhaps cinnamon or cardamom (trust us) for best results.

PUMPKIN CURRY

Pumpkin is starchy and a little meaty, as such, it makes the perfect substitute for protein in a rich, sumptuous curry. It’s a much beloved ingredient in Thai cuisine, so get your hands on a red curry paste (or even better, make one yourself), fry that off in some coconut cream, then add cubed pumpkin and let simmer for a simple, delicious dinner. Finish with Thai basil and serve with steamed rice. Yum.

PUMPKIN RISOTTO

This interesting take on risotto is a great dinner party dish, as its vibrant in colour and rich in flavour. Add texture and substance to the popular rice dish with pumpkin pieces, diced fairly small and added towards the end of the cooking process so they don’t break down too much. Rosemary and feta make agreeable accompaniments.

Check out our 7 tips for the IDEAL risotto over here.

PUMPKIN LOAF

A similar proposition to banana bread, this, but supplementing the usual fruit with any leftover pumpkin – pureed or mashed – from your carving feats. For those with a sweet tooth, a thick layer of cream cheese icing will take your loaf from healthy to heavenly in minutes. With the addition of fall spices, this one smells totally enticing when baking. And tastes even better!

 

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