Stuffed Pumpkin

Stuffed Pumpkin With Potatoes (500x326) This time of year, we are greeted all around by the jolly, bright orange faces of pumpkins. Let’s face it, summer is usually still in full swing, the days are sunny and long, the weather is hot and balmy, but when we see “pumpkin spice” everything begin to appear, that’s one of the first signs of autumn tiptoeing in. Let’s get one thing straight though, pumpkin lattes do NOT taste anything like pumpkin. Seriously, let’s not confuse the spices that are usually found in pumpkin pie, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, etc. with actual pumpkin. However, this is the flavor profile and the smell that is marketed to all of us as “pumpkin”.

Did you know that not only is pumpkin delicious in desserts, such as Pumpkin Donut Holes or Pumpkin Cheesecake,  but pumpkin is a great flavor to be used in savory cooking as well? I was inspired to roast the pumpkin and stuff it, taking advantage of the natural cavity in it’s center, to hold a variety of other veggies. Pumpkins have such a vibrant color, it was a perfect way to showcase it. Wouldn’t this be a excellent dish to serve at a holiday meal? Ingredients:

1 pumpkin (I used japanese pumpkin/kabocha squash), 4-5 lbs

1 Tablespoon sunflower oil

1/2 Tablespoon butter

3 medium potatoes, Yukon gold

1 onion

1 carrot

2 garlic cloves

salt, pepper

2-3 thyme sprigs

1-2 dry bay leaves

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup heavy cream, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are so many different varieties of pumpkins and winter squash. Most of them will work in this recipe. I used the japanese pumpkin, sometimes called the kambocha squash. The pumpkin should be about 4-5 pounds. IMG_8266 (500x334) Cut the top off the pumpkin. Scrape out all the seeds and part of the pumpkin with a spoon. Take out part of the pumpkin flesh that easily scoops out with a spoon from the cavity of the pumpkin and trim around the edge of the opening with a small paring knife, so you’ll have a bigger mouth. Discard the seeds and the mushy part (or you can roast the seeds and enjoy). Coarsely chop the rest of the scraped pumpkin, you should have approximately 1 cup.

Peel and chop the potatoes into approximately 3/4 inch pieces. You should have approximately 3 cups chopped potatoes. Julienne the carrot, slice the onion and mince the garlic. IMG_8271 (500x334) In a large skillet, heat up the oil and butter. Add the onion, carrot and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onion softens, about 3 minutes. IMG_8283 (500x334) Add the potatoes, pumpkin, thyme, bay leaves, and season with salt and pepper. IMG_8285 (500x334) Add 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook until the potatoes have softened and are mostly cooked through but still somewhat firm. If you overcook the potatoes, they will turn to mush, but you want them to be mostly cooked through. Since pumpkins have such thick skin, it will take a long time for it to cook, and if the stuffing isn’t partially cooked, it won’t have time to cook through in the center of the pumpkin. IMG_8288 (500x334) Season the center of the pumpkin with salt and pepper. Add the cream, although it’s optional. I love the creaminess and flavor the cream gives to the dish. Place the stuffing into the cavity of the pumpkin. IMG_8290 (500x334) (I forgot to add the cream to the potatoes earlier, so I poured a bit in after I had stuffed the pumpkin.) Cover the stuffing with the top of the pumpkin.

Since I am such a devoted fan of potatoes, I chose a potato stuffing. The possibilities of different stuffings are endless, though. Rice, couscous, millet, buckwheat, bread…. allow your imagination to soar. You can easily add some meat to it also and make this a full coarse meal.

Place the stuffed pumpkin onto a rimmed baking sheet. Wrap the pumpkin in two layers of aluminum foil, leaving the top of the pumpkin uncovered. IMG_8294 (500x334) Roast in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours. Stuffed Pumpkin (500x330) Cut the pumpkin into wedges. If you want the pumpkin to stay together in this pretty flower shape, keep the aluminum foil that you used to roast the pumpkin in around the base of the pumpkin. Serve a wedge of pumpkin with some of the potato stuffing.  Stuffed Pumpkin With Potatoes 2 (500x334)

Stuffed Pumpkin
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sides
Serves: 4 -6
Ingredients
  • 1 pumpkin (I used japanese/kabocha pumpkin), 4-5 lbs
  • 1 Tablespoon sunflower oil
  • ½ Tablespoon butter
  • 3 medium potatoes, Yukon gold
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • salt, pepper
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1-2 dry bay leaves
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup heavy cream, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. There are so many different varieties of pumpkins and winter squash. Most of them will work in this recipe. I used the japanese pumpkin, sometimes called the kambocha squash. The pumpkin should be around 4-5 pounds.
  3. Cut the top off the pumpkin. Scrape out all the seeds and part of the pumpkin with a spoon. Take out part of the pumpkin flesh that easily scoops out with a spoon. Discard the seeds and the mushy part (or you can roast the seeds and enjoy). Coarsely chop the rest of the scraped pumpkin, you should have approximately 1 cup.
  4. Peel and chop the potatoes into approximately ¾ inch pieces. You should have approximately 3 cups chopped potatoes.
  5. Julienne the carrot, slice the onion and mince the garlic.
  6. In a large skillet, heat up the oil and butter. Add the onion, carrot and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onion softens, about 3 minutes.
  7. Add the potatoes, pumpkin, thyme, bay leaves, and season with salt and pepper. Add ¼ cup water. Cover and cook until the potatoes have softened and are mostly cooked through but still firm. If you overcook the potatoes, they will turn to mush, but you want them to be mostly cooked through. Since pumpkins have such thick skin, it will take a long time for it to cook, and if the stuffing isn't partially cooked, it won't have time to cook through in the center of the pumpkin.
  8. Add the cream, although it's optional. I love the creaminess and flavor the cream gives to the dish.
  9. Season the center of the pumpkin with salt and pepper. Place the stuffing into the cavity of the pumpkin.
  10. Cover the stuffing with the top of the pumpkin. Place the stuffed pumpkin onto a rimmed baking sheet. Wrap the pumpkin in two layers of aluminum foil, leaving the top of the pumpkin uncovered.
  11. Roast in the preheated oven for 1½ hours.
  12. Cut the pumpkin into wedges.If you want the pumpkin to stay together in this pretty flower shape, keep the aluminum foil that you used to roast the pumpkin in around the base of the pumpkin. Serve a wedge of pumpkin with some of the potato stuffing. Serve a wedge of pumpkin with some of the potato stuffing.

 
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Comments

  1. Snow says

    This looks so good! My mom usually bakes pumpkins stuffing it with cooked rice, raisins, walnuts,and honey. It is amazing!

  2. alina says

    this is so nice!! I have 2 pumpkins sitting waiting for me to find this recipe. I didn’t see onion in your list of ingredients. but u do add it in the sautéing right?

    • says

      Perfect timing:).
      Sorry about forgetting to put the onion in the list of ingredients. I’ve fixed it.
      The instructions did include the onion, though.

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