Welcome to Romeo's Food Lady! This blog contains recipes for delicious vegetarian food. Most of these are not recipes authored by me. Rather, this is just a compilation of great veggie food I've found from all over the place, usually tweaked just a little. It's intended to be a reference FOR ME so I don't lose great food I've found nor the changes I've made to suit my tastes, but I'm happy for you to use it, too. After more than 25 years of being a vegetarian, I know what tastes good.
Romeo's Food Lady is named after my friend and cat, Romeo. Romeo is not a vegetarian, but his Food Lady is!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Whole Stuffed Pumpkin

Here's the recipe for the entree Scott and I had for our lovely Halloween dinner this year.  It was beautiful, it was tasty, and it made the entire kitchen pleasantly fragrant with thyme.  I'd say this would make a beautiful presentation as a vegetarian Thanksgiving entree for a small group (or make 2 or 3 for a crowd).
The recipe is based on a non-vegetarian recipe from www.npr.org (recipe here).  The recipe's author emphasized its flexibility, so I used her recipe as a template and filled it in with my own tastes and local availability.  You can do the same!  The notes are not mine; they all belong to the source recipe.

3-lb. pumpkin
salt and freshly-ground pepper
enough cooked rice to fill the pumpkin (approximately 2 cups)
3 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
1 oz. Parmesan cheese
2 - 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 t. smoked paprika (regular paprika will not have the same taste)
1/4 c. shallots, peeled and minced (or 1/4 c. chopped scallions or chives)
1 T. minced fresh thyme (or 1 t. dried thyme)
1/3 c. heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment or find a Dutch oven with a diameter that's just a tiny bit larger than your pumpkin.  (NOTE:  If you bake the pumpkin in a casserole, it will keep its shape, but it might stick to the casserole.  You'll have to serve it from the pot, which is an appealingly homey way to serve it.  If you bake it on a baking sheet, you can present it freestanding, but maneuvering a heavy stuffed pumpkin with a softened shell isn't so easy.)

Using a sturdy, sharp knife and caution, cut a cap out of the top of the pumpkin.  You want to cut off enough of the top to make it easy for you to work inside the pumpkin.  Clear away the strings and seeds from the cap and from inside the pumpkin.  Season the inside of the pumpkin generously with salt and pepper, and put it on the baking sheet or in the pot.

Toss the cooked rice, cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, smoked paprika, minced shallots, and thyme together in a bowl.  Season with pepper and, if desired, salt, then pack the mix into the cleaned and seasoned pumpkin.  The pumpkin should be well filled.  You may have a little too much filling or you might need to add to it.

Stir the cream with a little salt and pepper,and pour it into the pumpkin.  Again, you may have too much or too little.  You don't want the ingredients to swim in cream, but you do want them nicely moistened.

Put the cap in place, and bake the pumpkin until everything inside the pumpkin is bubbling and the flesh of the pumpkin is tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a knife.  Becase the pumpkin will have exuded liquid, you may want to remove the cap for the last 20 minutes or so so that the liquid can bake away and the top of the stuffing can brown a little.  Fully cooking the pumpkin can take anywhere from 60 - 120 minutes.

To serve the pumpkin, you can cut wedges from the pumpkin, as below, you can spoon out portions of the filling, making sure to get a generous amount of pumpkin into the spoonful, or you can dig into the pumpkin with a big spoon, pull the pumpkin meat into the filling, then mix everything up.

Serves 2 - 4.  I served this with buttery-soft navy beans, sautéed kale, and heavy multi-grain bread for a perfect autumn meal.


No comments:

Post a Comment