Recipe: Tamari-roasted pumpkin with sunflower cream

With sunflower cream, this tamari-roasted pumpkin is a seriously good recipe.

With sunflower cream, this tamari-roasted pumpkin is a seriously good recipe.

A Melbourne-based Kiwi chef's roasting pumpkin in a delicious way.

"When I ate at Etta in early April, there were a number of highlights, from the carefully curated wine list to the excellent service and the small, interesting menu. This pumpkin dish was a real favourite," says Ginny Grant.

Serves 4-6

For the sunflower cream 

150g sunflower seeds 
100ml-200ml kombu stock made by wiping a piece of kombu with a damp cloth, soaking in water for a few hours, then gently simmering for a few minutes (substitute with vegetable stock or water)
30ml tamari 
50ml lemon juice 
50ml grapeseed oil 
50ml olive oil 

Put the seeds in a bowl and pour water over to cover by 2cm-3cm. Leave to soak overnight at room temperature.

Strain the seeds and put into an upright blender. Add 100ml of the stock, the tamari and lemon juice and blend on high to emulsify. If the seeds aren't smooth and creamy, add a little more stock or water.

Once the consistency is smooth and mayonnaise-like, drizzle in the oils and blend again. If it thickens too much, adjust with more stock or water.

Once the oil is incorporated and you have a silky-smooth puree, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, lemon juice and tamari. Serve at room temperature with the pumpkin.

For the tamari-roasted pumpkin

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1 small buttercup pumpkin 
100g brown sugar
150ml tamari
50ml olive oil 
500ml vegetable oil
100g pumpkin seeds 
100g sunflower seeds 
50g fresh horseradish (optional)
50g fresh dill

Preheat the oven to 165°C. Peel the pumpkin, cut in half and deseed.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Sprinkle half the brown sugar, 50ml of the tamari and half the olive oil over the tray.

Cut the pumpkin into quarters and place on the tray cut side down. Sprinkle the remaining sugar, another 50ml of the tamari and the remaining olive oil over the pumpkin.

Cover with a layer of baking paper then a layer of foil and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven, flip the pumpkin over and return to the oven for another 30 minutes or until soft and cooked through.

Remove from the oven and set the tray aside with the foil peeled back slightly so the pumpkin doesn't overcook – the juices will soak into the pumpkin while you fry the seeds.

Put the vegetable oil and seeds into a large saucepan and set over medium heat, stirring with a long-handled wooden spoon continuously as the oil heats.

The seeds are ready when they float to the surface and start making a popping/cracking sound. 

As they rise, use a small sieve or slotted spoon to scoop the seeds that have risen to the top and place onto a paper towel-lined tray. 

Continue until all the seeds are done. Some may not puff up – just leave them in the saucepan and strain the oil through a fine sieve to cool and store for another time.

In 2 or 3 batches, put the puffed seeds in a large saucepan and set over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, tossing the seeds until they dry out slightly. Add the remaining 50ml tamari, tossing the pan continuously to glaze the seeds until the tamari has stuck to them and is also sticking to the pan slightly.

Remove the seeds from the pan to a paper towel-lined tray to cool and repeat the process for the remaining seeds.

To serve, reheat the pumpkin in the oven until warmed through. Divide the sesame cream among plates and top with the pumpkin pieces, spooning any remaining juices over. 

Sprinkle the pumpkin with the tamari-coated seeds, finely grate the horseradish over, if using, and add small sprigs of dill to serve.

 - Cuisine


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