Waste not ... Pump­kin Tom Hunt

The Guardian - Feast - - News -

I prac­tise a style of cook­ing that

I call root to fruit. It’s a sus­tain­abil­ity phi­los­o­phy de­signed to make the most of the in­gre­di­ents I cook, and to waste noth­ing. It’s a step on from nose-to-tail eat­ing (ie us­ing the whole an­i­mal), and a lot eas­ier to fol­low. By cook­ing this way, we get more from our food: more nu­tri­ents, more flavour and, per­haps most ex­cit­ingly, more plea­sure. This col­umn is writ­ten in that spirit, not just about sav­ing money, but about re­spect­ing in­gre­di­ents and the re­sources that went into grow­ing them.

Along the way, this ap­proach has led me to dis­cover new tech­niques, in­gre­di­ents and recipes, in­clud­ing this pump­kin seed salt, an umami-rich condi­ment made from pump­kin in­nards, which are usu­ally dis­carded. As strange as it may sound, I had been look­ing for a way to cook pump­kin guts for years, un­til I came across this tra­di­tional Mex­i­can recipe. More re­cently, I found out that Amass, a Miche­lin­starred restau­rant in Copen­hagen renowned for its zero-waste ap­proach, also makes pump­kin seed pow­der, though they fer­ment the mix­ture be­fore roast­ing it for an ex­tra umami hit.

Pump­kin seed salt

Re­move the in­nards from one pump­kin, in­clud­ing the seeds and stringy bits of flesh, then spread out on a bak­ing tray and roast at 180C/350F/gas 4 for 35-45 min­utes, un­til com­pletely dried out and be­gin­ning to brown. Leave to cool, then blend with salt to taste. Use to sea­son vegeta­bles, soups and stews, or as a rub for meat.

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