Chefs' Recipes

Etta's tamari-roasted pumpkin, sunflower and horseradish

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.

  • 25 mins preparation
  • 40 mins cooking plus soaking
  • Serves 4 - 6
  • Print
Begin this recipe a day ahead to soak the seeds.


  • 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
Sunflower cream
  • 150 gm sunflower seeds, soaked overnight in plenty of water
  • 50 ml lemon juice
  • 1½ tbsp tamari
  • 60 ml (¼cup) grapeseed oil
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil


  • 1
    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.
  • 2
    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.
  • 3
    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 pan. Return puffed seeds to pan over medium heat and toss to dry out (1-2 minutes), then add remaining tamari and toss until glazed and slightly sticking to pan (1-2 minutes). Transfer to paper towels to cool.
  • 4
    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.


Buttercup pumpkin is a small variety with dark green skin and sweet, dry flesh. Find them at select greengrocers or substitute a small Jap pumpkin.