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Le Cordon Bleu celebrates V&A Exhibition Food: Bigger than the plate

spiced chickpea crumpetWith a focus around how to reduce food waste, this fantastic (and rather simple!) recipe is one to try this weekend. is an in-depth look at the global food chain from production to consumption, begging the question ‘can what we eat be more sustainable, ethical, but still delicious?’

If you are interested, hurry to the iconic museum as it lasts only until Sunday 20th October 2019!

Makes: 4


Butternut squash puree
  • 350g Butternut Squash
  • 50 ml Olive Oil
  • 50ml Water
  • Salt Lemon Flesh
Cauliflower puree
  • 250g Cauliflower
  • 100ml Almond Milk
  • 2 Black Cardamom Pods
Fermented carrots
  • 100g Heritage Carrots
  • 750ml Still Bottled Water
  • 10g Fine Salt
Preserved lemons
  • 2 x Unwaxed Lemons
  • 30g Fine Salt
  • 4 x Cloves
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 250g Chickpea Flour
  • 100g Rice Flour
  • 10g Ground Coriander
  • 10g Paprika
  • 14g Dried Yeast
  • 1tsp Caster Sugar
  • 300mls Almond Milk
  • 100mls Water
  • 1tsp Baking Soda
Spiced pumpkin seeds
  • 50g Pumpkin Seeds
  • 50ml Agave Sugar
  • 50ml Water
  • 100ml Sunflower oil
  • 5g Ground Cumin
  • 5g Smoked Paprika


Butternut Squash puree

Peel the Butternut squash to reveal the orange flesh, you may need to peel twice if the squash is large. Dice the squash small and place into a square of tin foil. Add the olive oil and water and secure the tin foil to make a closed parcel. Place in a pre-heated oven at 180oC for 40 minutes or until soft and tender. Remove from the oven and empty the contents of the parcel into muslin cloth. Allow the squash to cool then twist the muslin cloth to dry out the squash. Retain the juice to be used later as dressing. Add a little flesh from the salt lemon to season the puree.

Cauliflower puree

Remove the outer leaves of the cauliflower and slice the fleurets. Crush and remove the seeds from the inside of the cardamom. In a pestle and mortar crush the seeds and toast gently in a dry pan. Once you can smell the cardamom add the cauliflower slices and the almond milk. Add a lid and cook until soft and tender. Remove the lid and evaporate the almond milk until dry. Blend the cauliflower in a blender until smooth. Pass the puree through a fine sieve to achieve a smooth puree. Tip: on cutting cauliflower (if for garnish, don’t cut cauliflower in half, instead break it apart by hand to keep the natural look of the fleurets).

Fermented carrots

Scrub the carrots with a clean scouring pad and cut most of the green top leaving ½ cm. Heat the water with the salt and allow to cool. Add the carrots to a preserving jar and pour the cooled brine over the carrots covering completely. TIP. Peel and thinly slice 50g of ginger and add to the carrots to give an additional element and spice to the carrots. Leave the carrots at room temperature for three days then transfer to the fridge.

Preserved lemons

Remove the top and bottom of the lemons. Cut the lemons in ¼ length ways. Place a little salt into a preserving jar add a couple of lemon quarters. Add two cloves and half the bay leaf. Repeat the process and finish with salt. Close the lid on the jar and leave at room temperature for three months. Turn the jar upside down every two days.

Crumpet batter

In a bowl add the chickpea flour, rice flour, ground coriander, paprika and sugar. Warm the almond milk in a pan to 37oC (blood temperature) add the yeast and whisk to dissolve. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the almond milk/ yeast mixture. Stir the milk into the flours to achieve a smooth paste. Cover with a damp cloth and leave somewhere warm to double in size. Warm the water and dissolve the baking soda leave to cool. Add the baking soda to the crumpet base by folding in to keep as much air in the mixture as possible, which will give it extra lift/fluffiness.

Making the purees

To make the squash puree – peel and dice the squash, place in a sheet of foil, add 50ml olive oil and 50ml water, secure to make a closed parcel. Place in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C for 40 minutes until soft. Leave the squash to cool and then pass through a sieve or muslin cloth to dry out. Add a little flesh from the preserved lemon to season the puree. Keep the juice to be used later. (Pro tip: squash peelings can be reused – grill in the oven to give a smoky flavour and add into your next stock or soup) .

Cauliflower puree – crush and remove the seeds from the cardamom pods, toast the seeds gently in a dry pan. Add the sliced cauliflower and 100ml almond milk, cook until soft and all milk is evaporated. Blend until smooth and pass through a sieve to achieve a puree.

Spiced pumpkin seeds

Bring the agave sugar to a boil with the water. Add the seeds and stir to coat with the syrup. Boil the syrup so it coats the seeds and they are shinny. Turn out onto parchment paper and allow to cool. Heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan and add the seeds. Stir continually until golden. Drain on to some paper towel and dust with the ground cumin and paprika. Remove from the paper immediately.

Cooking the crumpets

In a skillet or non-stick pan add a little sunflower oil and heat. Place a cake ring in the pad and rub a little oil on the inside of the cake ring to avoid the crumpet from sticking. Add the crumpet mixture to 1/2cm thick and the mixture will rise. Once the mixture is set around the edge and small holes appear on top of the crumpet (2-3 minutes) carefully turn the crumpet over and cook the top. Once the bottom is golden and crisp remove from the pan.


Place crumpet onto your plate and assemble the squash and cauliflower purees on top. Add thin slices of fermented carrots and small strips of preserved lemon. Finish with coriander cress, dress with squash juice and spiced pumpkin seeds.