The pumpkin is an underrated vegetable which deserves to be used much more widely. This snack looks as good as it tastes!
300g (10oz) pumpkin or butternut squash, seeded but not skinned
75g (30oz) soft white breadcrumbs
1 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
1 sprig of fresh fennel leaves
1 garlic clove
Sea salt and freshly milled black pepper
Sunflower oil for deep frying
2 tbsp cider vinegar
Cut the pumpkin into irregular shaped slices 3 or 4mm thick. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and drop the slices into the water for 1-2 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and leave to dry on a folded, dry tea towel. Dust lightly on both sides with flour.
Meanwhile, whiz the breadcrumbs, fennel seeds, fennel leaves and garlic together in a food processor for a minute or so, then season to taste.
Heat the oil until it reaches 180-190ºC/350- 375ºF, or a cube of bread browns in 30 seconds. Add the dry pumpkin slices in batches and deep-fry until golden brown, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Pile the chips on a platter, sprinkling with the breadcrumb mixture and finally drizzle over the vinegar. Serve at once.