‘I loved Jojo Tulloh’s Freshly Picked the moment I saw it. I think I was half in awe and half envious that someone living in London could actually grow her own food and write down her experiences of doing so in a book. Now that we’ve converted our little plot into a kitchen garden, I can see how addictive gardening is and how satisfying it is to pull your food from the ground. It’s not too tricky, either, as long as you don’t have too much space. This wonderful pumpkin and garlic purée is multi-purpose. You can stir it into pasta, eat it on toast, layer it in a lasagne or freeze it for a rainy day. It’s sweet, garlicky and utterly delicious’

Pumpkin and garlic purée

Extract from Jojo Tulloh’s
Freshly Picked: Kitchen Garden Cooking in the City
Published by Chatto & Windus

This purée can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge before being thinned with chicken stock to make a simple soup, or mixed with grated Parmesan and crème fraîche to make a sauce for pasta, or stirred into a plain risotto (made with onions and chicken stock). Convenience cooking of the highest order.

Ingredients

1tbsp olive oil
A smallish knob of butter (about 15g)
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed with the flat side of a knife
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
450g pumpkin peeled and cubed, seeds and fibres removed
A good pinch of sea salt
6 stalks thyme
Pepper

Method

Place the oil, butter, garlic and shallot in a heavy-bottomed pan over a medium heat. When the oil and butter are sizzling and there is a good garlicky aroma coming from the pan, add the pumpkin pieces, salt and thyme. Stir well, cover and turn down the heat to low.

Cook for 45 minutes, checking from time to time and stirring vigorously to break down the pumpkin towards the end. Fish out the thyme stalks (the leaves will have detached, flecking the purée with tiny dots of dark green).

Taste the purée and add more salt if necessary before finishing with black pepper. Use as required.