WHOLE IN ONE
WASTE NOT, WANT NOT WITH A PUMPKIN DISH THAT MAKES USE OF EVERYTHING FROM SEEDS TO BLOOMS
It’s incumbent on us all to tread lightly on this earth by considering our food waste — so says every chef worth his hand-harvested, unprocessed, kiln-dried, macrobiotic sea salt. Start with fruit and veg. It’s a soulful pursuit sourcing your fruit and vegetables from a farmers’ market. It’s staggering to think we throw away almost a quarter of everything we buy. From this day forth, never peel a root and always use the stalks of herbs when simmering soup, pounding pesto and flipping fritters.
EVERYTHING FROM A PUMPKIN Serves: 4
1 small pumpkin
4 tbsp EVOO, plus extra for brushing blossoms
Sea salt and freshly milled pepper ½ onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
Large handful baby spinach
25g grated parmesan
½ lemon, zested
4 pumpkin blossoms
4 pumpkin tendrils
Preheat oven to 200C. Cut pumpkin in half then into 5cm thick wedges. Wash and dry the seeds and reserve. Toss all but one wedge of pumpkin in half the olive oil and season generously. Place pieces on a mediumsize baking tray and roast for 20-30 mins or until just cooked through. Set aside to cool then crush one of the pieces to a coarse paste and set aside. In a large frying pan, heat a further 1 tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and fry gently for 3-4 mins, add garlic and fry for 1 min more. Add spinach and cook until wilted, then transfer to a bowl and leave to cool. Mix in ricotta, parmesan, zest and crushed pumpkin then season to taste. Fill flowers generously with filling, set on a tray, brush with a little more olive oil, season and chill until ready to bake. To make a light puree of pumpkin, dice remaining wedge, heat remaining olive oil in a small pot and saute for 1 min. Add milk and the same amount of water and simmer until pumpkin is very soft. Drain, reserving liquid, then blend until smooth. Add reserved liquid to create a soft puree then add butter and season to taste. Toast reserved pumpkin seeds for 5 mins until crisp and fragrant. When ready to serve, bake stuffed blossoms for 12 mins, reheating the roast pumpkin pieces for the last 5 mins. Meanwhile, blanch the tendrils in boiling salted water for 2 mins, drain and season.