I am pretty sure you’re all familiar with the pumpkin carving tradition of Halloween; if there’s one thing Europeans do at that time of the year, if not dressing up, organising huge parties or trick-or-treating, is carving pumpkins and giving them scary, fancy, mesmerizing or cute looks. In my family, we’ve never carved any pumpkin, or on rare occasions only; therefore, I must say I would have been quite on a different planet if I was to carve pumpkins…But I found a way to transform that tradition and thus make everyone happy, by creating a new recipe using my “carving” and creation skills (and I emphasize the inverted commas)! Please welcome this year’s Queen of all pumpkins, the “Autumn Stuffed Pumpkin”, with its soft, sweet and shiny crown, and its tender and luscious envelop.
I always loved stuffed vegetables; I mean, how could not we like those juicy hot tomatoes, sweet and tender red peppers or even more incredibly, smoothly delicious sweet potatoes, all stuffed with healthy and whole ingredients? But this pumpkin is even more incredible. When brought to your dinner table, people’s eyes are going to light with envy; it’s going to be the one which gets all the ohhh’s and ahhh’s, just because of its gorgeous look. So yes, I still adore every kind of stuffed vegetable, but if you’d like an easy, impressive and festive dinner, here’s your pumpkin!
Today, I made the filling with crunchy chestnuts, sweet cranberries, earthy sage and tender Kale, that are all delicious autumn flavours. You could totally make it your own by replacing a few ingredients, adding spinach instead of kale, other grains or even other nuts and dried fruits. Use your imagination and bring your personal touch to this recipe; inspire yourself, take whatever you like and threw away what you think is unnecessary. I am here to advise you and inspire you, not to tell you how to live your unique life.
Deliciously Stuffed Pumpkin
Portions: 4 servings.
Preparation time: 35 minutes.
Cooking time: 1 hour + 30 minutes.
For the pumpkins:
- 2 small pumpkins or 1 large
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil or olive oil
- Sea salt & black pepper
For the filling:
- 150g of uncooked quinoa, rinsed + 600ml of water
- 150g of uncooked buckwheat groats, rinsed + 250ml of water
- ½ tbsp of coconut oil (or olive oil)
- 2 large onions, finely minced
- 3 stems of Kale (about 75g), leaves chopped finely
- 2 tbsp of cooking white wine + 150ml of water
- 8 sage leaves
- 100g of chestnuts, frozen or dried*
- 75g of dried cranberries, preferably unsweetened
- 50g of pumpkin seeds
- Sea salt & black pepper
For the topping:
- Fresh sage leaved, minced
- A handful of pumpkin seeds
*The one I buy are in little airtight packets, and they have been pre-cooked and skinned already. If using frozen, you might want to add them directly with the Kale but they will properly defrost when in the oven.
(1) Preheat your oven at 180°C. Start by cooking the quinoa; bring the water and the grain to a boil, lower the heat to medium and cook for about 20 minutes (or until all the water has been absorbed). Bring the water and buckwheat groats to a boil, turn the heat off, cover and let the water be absorbed.
(2) Prepare your pumpkin. Remove the top with a large knife, empty the pumpkins from their seeds and filling, and coat the sides (and the tops) with coconut oil. Place on a tray lined with parchment paper.
(3) Heat the coconut oil and brown the diced onions; when translucent, add the chopped kale leaves, white wine, water and sage leaves. Cook for about 5 to 6 minutes. Then add the chestnuts, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, salt and pepper and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more.
(4) Once your filling’s ready and that the grains are cooked, mix the buckwheat, quinoa and filling together, adjust with salt and pepper if needed. Then fill both pumpkins, pressing it down a little. Cover with both tops and place at the bottom of your oven for about 55 minutes or an hour.
(5) To serve, cut slices as if you were cutting a cake. Add additional pumpkin seeds and minced sage leaves. Enjoy!