100% vegan and gluten-free
1 small Jap pumpkin
1 bunch Australian asparagus
300g oyster mushrooms
1 red capsicum
2 whole corn cobs
3 cloves Australian garlic
1/2 bunch kale
150ml passata sauce
Cajun spice mix
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Start a fire inside a safe fire pit or structure. You will need to either hang the pumpkin from chains hanging above the smoldering coals, or place it on a char plate over the coals. For best results, ensure the char plate has holes to allow the smoke to infuse into the pumpkin.
You will be cooking over coals, not flames, so ensure the fire is cooked down enough before beginning. Keep the main fire going separately to the cooking fire, so coals can be shovelled and topped up as required.
With a sharp knife, cut a 4 cm by 4 cm square out of the top of the pumpkin, the stem should be in the centre of this. Keep for later use. Scoop all of the seeds and pulp out of the centre of the pumpkin, drizzle the inside with olive oil and season liberally with salt, pepper and Cajun spice.
Place the square back on top to contain any steam within the pumpkin, cooking it quicker and ensuring the flavours and sweetness remain. Hang or place the pumpkin over the hot coals and cook until tender. Use the blunt handle of a piece of cutlery to check it.
Separate the pumpkin seeds from the pulp, wash and dry them. Place into a dry pan and toast over the coals for two minutes, tossing frequently. Add sesame seeds to the pan and toast for a further 2-3 minutes, or until all seeds are toasted. Set aside to cool.
Place the corn cobs, still in the husk, over the coals and turn frequently. The husk will add a smoky, corn flavour as the heat penetrates it and also helps to create an oven-like environment inside the husk. Once charred on the outside, remove corn from fire and cool enough to touch.
Remove husk and set aside, lightly coat the corn in extra virgin olive oil and season. Place corn over the coals and the husk onto the coals. This should immediately burst into flames which will be used to blacken the corn. Spin frequently to ensure flames aren’t too close to the corn.
Slice/dice all vegetables into mouth sized pieces, slice the blackened corn off the cob and separate kernels. Once the pumpkin is almost cooked, heat a dry pan over the coals, add oil and sautee vegetables, starting with the asparagus and capsicum, then add mushrooms.
Once mushrooms start to soften, add sliced garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the passata and reduce for 3-4 minutes until the sauce coats the vegetables, at the last minute thinly slice the kale and add with corn kernels to the pan.
Remove from the heat, toss and set aside while the kale softens. Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the sautéed vegetables.
Set the whole, cooked pumpkin on a large serving platter, remove the cut out square and set aside. Spoon sautéed mixture into the pumpkin, sprinkle with toasted pumpkin and sesame seeds. Serve with sour cream or condiment of choice.
Recipe provided by The Wilderness Chef
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