Charred Pumpkin with Goats Curd & Zucchini Flowers
Pumpkin season has begun at Zin. Already you will find pumpkin vines snaking their way through the organic & biodynamic permaculture gardens at The Zin House, which means it’s time for our chefs to start experimenting with new dishes for the seasonal menu.
Below you will find one such dish, created by Zin Head Chef, Jackie Jacutin. Heroing new season pumpkin, the slices are first charred using the gas burners of our Chilli Red Belling Oven and then finished in the oven. The pumpkin is joined by one of our favourite products – fresh goats curd from the family run, artisan goat fromagerie, Jannei Goat Dairy (keep an eye out for the goats next to the road that leads from Lithgow to Mudgee). If you can’t get your hands on this, another soft goat cheese will work, and we welcome you to use as much or as little as you desire!
Another ingredient still abundant in our gardens is Zucchini flower. A versatile ingredient that often appears stuffed or as tempura on menus across Lowe & Zin, for this recipe, Jackie first brines the flowers in salt & water for a day or two, then crisps them up in the oven. Of course this is an optional step, as not everyone has the forethought when cooking a casual dinner, but the simple preparation makes for fantastic results.
These ingredients are then backed by a multitude of herbs & greens, fresh peach from our Tinja orchards, Zin extra virgin olive oil, and a quick homemade dukkah. The below recipe serves 4 – 6 people generously (depending on your pumpkin size!) and is an excellent plant based dish using seasonal produce you can find in your veggie patch at home.
- 1 medium pumpkin
We used buttercup pumpkin from the Zin garden however butternut is a good alternative.
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- Several sprigs of rosemary
- A handful of sage leaves
- 1 small bunch of chives
- 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon of tahini
- 100 gm goats curd
We get ours from Jannei Goat Dairy
- 1 fresh peach (sliced)
- 1 cup of assorted nuts for dukkah
You can use whatever you have, but for this recipe we used almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pepitas & sunflower seeds.
- A handful of baby rocket
- Olive oil
- Fermented zucchini flowers (optional)
Note: If adding zucchini flowers to your dish, you’ll want to prepare these ahead of time. In an airtight jar, submerge the zucchini flowers in a brine of water and salt for 1-2 days before cooking the dish. Leave in a shaded spot at room temperature.
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius.
- Cut your pumpkin into thick slices & remove any seeds in the centre. Cover with salt & olive oil.
- To char the pumpkin steaks, place a hibachi grill or a metal baking rack on top of your gas burner and turn it to medium heat. Place one of the pumpkin steaks on the rack and cook until charred on the flesh and edges, then flip to char the other side. Set aside & repeat with the remaining pumpkin steaks.
- If using the zucchini flowers, take them out of the brine and squeeze to remove moisture. Lie flowers on a baking tray and season with salt & pepper, then place in the oven for 25 minutes, or until crispy.
- Once all pumpkin steaks have been charred, place them on a tray, drizzle with olive oil & salt, layer with the rosemary, sage & crushed garlic, and place in the oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through.
- Spread the nuts for your dukkah on another tray and place in the oven for 8 minutes, shaking them half way through to cook evenly. Once roasted, use a mortar & pestle to crush the nuts into a coarse dukkah.
- To make the tahini dressing, add a generous glug of olive oil, salt, pepper, the juice of one lemon, and a tablespoon of tahini to a bowl. Mix until well combined, adding more juice/olive oil for a thinner consistency, or more tahini to get a thicker consistency.
- To plate, place one pumpkin steak in the centre of your plate. Drizzle tahini dressing in the middle of the steak, and place peach slices, zucchini flowers & goats curd around the edges of the pumpkin. Add the baby rocket in the centre of the slice and scatter dukkah & chopped chives on top.
Recipe by Jackie Jacutin, Photos by Tim White.