A stand out dish from world-renowned chef Hayden McMillan. This stunning dish is powerful enough to take a place among the main courses in a banquet or you could serve it as a side to roasted or grilled meat. This is the perfect recipe to celebrate one of falls greatest vegetables. For something a little extra, cover the dish with a glass cloche or dome, fill with smoke using your Piccalo smoke infuser and allow to infuse for 3-5 minutes. Remove table side to really wow your guests.
100 gm brown sugar
150 ml tamari
60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
1 small (about 1kg) buttercup pumpkin (see note), peeled and cut into wedges, seeds discarded
250 ml (1 cup) vegetable or canola oil, for shallow-frying
25 gm pepitas
50 gm sunflower seeds
Finely grated horseradish, and small dill sprigs, to serve
150 gm sunflower seeds, soaked overnight in plenty of water
50 ml lemon juice
1 ½ tbsp tamari
60 ml (¼cup) grapeseed oil
60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
For sunflower cream, strain the seeds and blend in a blender with lemon juice, tamari, and 100ml water until combined. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oils until a smooth mayonnaise consistency, adding a little more water if necessary, and season to taste with salt.
Preheat oven to 165°C. Scatter half the sugar on an oven tray lined with baking paper and drizzle with 50ml tamari and half the olive oil. Place pumpkin on the tray, then sprinkle it with the remaining sugar and drizzle with another 50ml tamari and remaining olive oil. Cover with baking paper then tightly cover with foil and bake until barely softened (20-25 minutes), then turn pumpkin and bake, still covered, until soft (10-15 minutes). Remove and keep covered loosely with foil to keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil, pepitas and sunflower seeds in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring continuously as heat increases, then cook until seeds rise to the surface and start making a popping sound (15-20 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Drain oil and wipe out the pan. Return puffed seeds to the pan over medium heat and toss to dry out (1-2 minutes), then add remaining tamari and toss until glazed and slightly sticking to the pan (1-2 minutes). Transfer to paper towels to cool.
Divide pumpkin among plates, spoon juices over and top with tamari seeds. Spoon sunflower cream around over and top with horseradish and dill to serve.