WHOLE IN ONE

WASTE NOT, WANT NOT WITH A PUMP­KIN DISH THAT MAKES USE OF EV­ERY­THING FROM SEEDS TO BLOOMS

Life & Style Weekend - - MAGAZINE | FOOD & WINE - WORDS: ALAS­TAIR MCLEOD STYLING AND PHOTO: MI­RANDA PORTER CE­RAM­ICS: A CE­RAM­ICS BY ANNA MARKEY Alas­tair Mcleod is chef-owner of Al’freshco. al­freshco.com.au

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

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

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

350g ri­cotta

25g grated parme­san

½ le­mon, zested

4 pump­kin blos­soms

180ml milk

180ml wa­ter

50g but­ter

4 pump­kin ten­drils

METHOD

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.

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