With its intense orange hue and its sweet and earthy taste, pumpkin is perhaps the perfect vegetable to brighten up a dreary winter day. However, traditional techniques for cooking pumpkin use high temperatures and can result in a loss of colour and flavour. Avoid this problem by cooking pumpkin at a much lower temperature using a sous vide method.
- Preheat the water bath to a temperature of 85⁰C.
- Remove the tough outer skin of the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds and slice the flesh into chunks.
- Arrange the pumpkin slices in a single layer inside a vacuum bag. Make sure that you lay them flat and do not overlap them.
- Sprinkle some salt over the pumpkin, add a drizzle of olive oil and seal.
- Place the bag in the water bath and leave to cook for 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of the slices.
- Take the pumpkin slices out of the bag and gently dry with kitchen paper.
For extra flavour, place different herbs and spices in the vacuum bag with the pumpkin. Thyme, rosemary, nutmeg and pepper would all work well. If you fancy trying something a little more unusual, you could add some loose black tea. A drizzle of honey is also a good addition, especially for those with a sweet tooth.
You can use your pumpkin to make a wide variety of warming and comforting dishes. Keep things simple with these easy yet delicious recipes for pumpkin soup from Robert Thompson and Paul Ainsworth. Alternatively, try making Stephen Crane’s Pumpkin tortellini with chestnuts and a sage beurre noisette, a sumptuous pasta dish which could serve as a main or starter. Inspired by their creator’s Peruvian heritage, Robert Ortiz’s Pumpkin picarones with chancaca honey and fresh cheese are a great choice for a sweet party snack or canape.
Recipe courtesy of www.greatbritishchefs.com