Do pumpkin differently with this roasted version dressed with spices and served with a homemade buttermilk curd.






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  • 1 whole Japanese pumpkin
  • 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick, halved
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ bunch rosemary, roughly chopped
  • ¼ bunch thyme, roughly chopped
  • ½ bunch sage, roughly chopped
  • 2 bird’s eye chillies, thinly sliced (optional)
  • 100 ml sherry vinegar

Buttermilk curd

  • 2 600 ml cartons buttermilk
  • 200 ml olive oil
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • salt, to season
  • pinch finely ground toasted fennel seeds

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Chilling time: 6 hours

  1. For the buttermilk, fill a saucepan two–thirds full of water and bring to the boil. Add the 2 cartons of unopened buttermilk, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Remove the cartons from the water and stand for 5–10 minutes to allow the curds to separate from the whey.
  2. Carefully pour the cartons of buttermilk into a sieve lined with muslin or cheesecloth, placed over a bowl. Refrigerate for 6 hours to drain well. Reserve the whey. Place the curd in a blender and add the lemon juice, salt, olive oil and just enough whey to make a smooth curd. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. For the roast pumpkin, preheat the oven to 200°C. Cut the pumpkin in half horizontally and place on a baking tray with a ring of foil placed underneath to keep the pumpkin flat and to stop it sticking to the tray. Drizzle with the oil and season to taste generously. Scatter over the spices, garlic, herbs and chilli if using. Roast for 20 minutes or until golden, then reduce the heat to 160°C and roast for another 40 minutes or until soft but not falling apart.
  4. Drizzle the roast pumpkin with sherry vinegar and a little more oil and serve with buttermilk curd sprinkled with ground fennel. 


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Adam Liaw.