Recipe Book Reviews, Vegetarian
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Pulled Pumpkin from ‘How to Eat Brilliantly Every Day’

Abel and Cole have just published a new recipe book and it’s been lighting up all the right bits in my brain like a Christmas tree (too soon, I know, but I am who I am). ‘How to Eat Brilliantly Every Day’ is sectioned up into each of the four seasons and I’ve been pouring over the autumn and winter pages like they’re the answer to life, the universe and everything. For me to have cooked three recipes from one book in less than a month is a big deal. This never happens. I’m smitten for reals.

The book is predominantly vegetarian – or at least, it’s always making the vegetable the star. This is the kind of forward thinking recipe development that I adore, and obviously is incredibly appropriate coming from Abel & Cole, everyone’s favourite veg box guys. There’s something so cosy and inviting about it, and it really is so rare for me to flick through a recipe book and earmark so many of the pages for future cooking. It’s absolutely chock full of unmissables. Come and have a little ganders at which ones have made it into my kitchen so far..

Kale Pancakes from Abel & Cole's New Recipe Book

kale pancakes, page 214

The kale pancakes were made on a whim because I happened to have all the necessary ingredients in the house and was incredibly curious to see how well they’d hold that pretty green colour (answer: very well, especially inside, best natural food colouring experience ever). In the book they’re served with tahini butter, but I’m a pig and I wanted mine drowned in maple syrup and topped with crispy bacon. Sorry Abel, sorry Cole. They were absolutely gorgeous. The leftover batter made for lush green waffles the next day, too.

The parsnip, potato and blue cheese gratin (pictured below) was chosen by the man of the house. It’s a really simple side dish making the most of everyone’s favourite basic, comforting wintry flavours, and was the perfect partner of roast chicken a couple of weeks ago.

Parsnip and Blue Cheese Gratin

parsnip and blue cheese gratin, page 202

The recipe I’ve saved to give to you lot is the one that first caught my eye. Pulled pumpkin. I should start off by being completely honest about the fact that I didn’t master the art of pulling and I just ended up with pumpkin mash. I suspect I needed to cook it a little longer to let more of the moisture cook out – either that or I needed to cook it for less time to stop it from getting mushy, I really have no idea. Either way, I present the recipe to you as it is in the book so that you can have a crack at it.

The flavours in play here are exactly what you’re looking for from an autumnal weekend comfort food dish. A kick of heat from the chilli, herby goodness in the thyme, sweetness from the BBQ sauce of your choice (we’re currently loving the Guinness one) and the sweet, sweet, basic bitch taste of good old fashioned pumpkin. It’s a cinch to make and, as I’ve proved, tasty AF even if you don’t actually get it right.

Serves 4

1 pumpkin
drizzle of olive oil
handful of fresh thyme, leaves only
1 chilli, finely chopped
bbq sauce
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 buns or rolls, to serve
coleslaw, to serve

Extracted from How to Eat Brilliantly Everyday by Abel & Cole (Ebury Press, £18.99)

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C/Gas 6.
  2. Halve your pumpkin horizontally and scoop out the seeds. Rub the inside all over with oil, then season with salt and pepper. Place your seasoned pumpkin, cut side up, on a baking tray on the top shelf of your oven and roast for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes (or when all the moisture has been cooked off) the flesh should be rich and dense.
  4. Pull the flesh and toss in a bowl with thyme, chilli and bbq sauce. Serve in a bun with crunchy slaw.

Pulled BBQ Pumpkin

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