For this sophisticate side plate, executive chef Zach Bell from the Addison Reserve Country Club in Delray Beach married pit-roasted Seminole pumpkins with a coconut-vinegar-and-honey vinaigrette insulated beneath a gooey roof of Montrachet goat cheese—a harvest treat that’s delicious and beautiful.
“Seminole pumpkins are indigenous to Florida and add a fresh, local twist to the standard roasted acorn squash I grew up with.”
Roasted Seminole Pumpkin with Goat Cheese, Honey, and Pomegranate
- 5 Seminole pumpkins (may substitute acorn squash)
- 1 fresh pomegranate
- 2 sprigs tarragon
- 1/4 bunch chives
- 4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
- 1/4 cup fresh local orange-blossom honey (or palmetto, tupelo, or gallberry honey)
- 1/3 cup coconut vinegar (available at oriental markets)
- 1/2 cup fruity olive oil
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 125 g (1/2 log) Belle Chevre Montrachet-style goat cheese, or other Montrachet, crumbled
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Prepare a fire in an outdoor fire pit or a fireplace. When fire subsides and embers are ready, spread embers into an even bed and place the pumpkins on the embers. Turn the pumpkins every 15 minutes or so as the outside chars, and continue to cook until tender, about 45 minutes to an hour. Use a cake tester to pierce through the skin and feel if the pumpkin is tender inside. Using tongs, carefully remove pumpkins from the fire to a baking tray and let cool for about 15-20 minutes or until they are cool enough to handle. Alternatively, pumpkins can be roasted in a 450-degree oven, turning every so often until tender.
- Meanwhile, cut pomegranate into quarters. Knock the back of a spoon against the outside of the skin over a bowl, allowing all of the seeds to pop out. (Careful—they stain.)
- Pick tarragon, chives, and parsley from the stem, and lightly hand tear or cut into half-inch pieces.
- Whisk together the honey and vinegar, then stream in the olive oil. Season to taste dressing with salt and pepper.
- Once pumpkin is cool, carefully split it by hand, trying to get as little of the charred outer skin in contact with the inside flesh. Gently scoop out the seeds with a spoon, and rinse seeds well.
- Toss seeds with salt and melted butter, and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Toast at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes or until golden brown. Stir them with a spoon often to achieve a uniform color. Once done, remove to a paper towel-lined plate, and reserve in a warm, dry spot.
- Using a sharp paring knife, carefully cut away the pumpkin’s burnt skin, leaving only chunks of the flesh. Break this flesh into roughly two-inch square pieces and place on a baking tray.
- For service, warm the pumpkin flesh in a 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the dressing, tossing evenly to coat.
- Transfer to a platter or serving bowl and sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, and fresh herbs. Pour any remaining dressing over and serve.
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Photography by Libby Volgyes
Styling by Janderyn Makris, Earth and Sugar
Flowers by Flower and Fringe