Hello, my little Pumpkin!

  • Photographs David Merewether
  • Words and recipes Jo Arnell

What better to bring a little seasonal colour and comforting carbohydrate to your plate than the sweet orange flesh of a pumpkin or squash. If you have the space they're good fun to grow and once harvested, will store for weeks, as their tough outer skin will protect them (and you) from the groaning glut that accompanies courgettes and their other summer cousins. They're a greedy and boisterous crop though, swamping other plants and rampantly rambling all over the place, which is why they're often given a patch of their own.

The best pumpkins to choose for eating tend to be the smaller ones. By all means use the flesh from your scooped out Halloween monster, but it will be more watery and less flavoursome than a petite culinary style variety. The sweet, slightly nutty taste of pumpkin combines well with other flavours, especially with nutmeg and cinnamon or herbs like rosemary and sage. And I've found that it goes really well with salty flavours like bacon and cheese too.

To find out more about Jo's practical gardening workshops visit www.hornbrookmanor.co.uk or call 01233 861186