Roasting pumpkins whole creates a beautiful presentation, but it begs the question: what should I stuff it with? The answer is simple: almost anything. Savory meats, seasonal produce, nuts, dried fruit, herbed stuffing, cheese, beef stew and cooked rice are all candidates — even pumpkin soup. Not all at once of course, but experiment with ingredients that work well together. This impressive-looking vegetarian dish is the mashup of two simple recipes and a modicum of kitchen ingenuity.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 90 minutes
Yields: Feeds 4 to 8
Equipment you'll need
- Chef's knife
- Broadsheet newspaper
- Cutting board
- 9 x 13 baking dish
- Baking sheet
- 12-ounce ready-made stuffing mix
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 celery ribs
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 4 tbs. butter, room temperature
- 2 cups vegetarian broth
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tbs. fresh sage, finely chopped
- 1 tbs. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 tbs. fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon each, kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 4- to 5-pound sugar pumpkin
- 2 to 3 tbs. olive oil
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bring broth, butter and poultry seasoning to a low boil in a small saucepan about 5 minutes. Reduce heat.
- Crack two eggs into a large bowl and stir for about 30 seconds. Add bread stuffing and liquid from saucepan. Fold ingredients together then add sage, rosemary and thyme along with cranberries and walnuts. Fold and set bowl aside to allow flavors to fuse.
- Meanwhile, remove the top 1/3 of pumpkin using a sharp knife. Scrape out seeds and pulp using the rounded edge of a spoon. Rub olive oil into the flesh and skin of pumpkin. Add salt and pepper.
- Pour stuffing into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, distributing contents evenly in a single layer about 2 inches thick. Cover dish with aluminum foil. Place dish on baking sheet and cover sheet with foil. Then place pumpkin upright on baking sheet, add 2 tbs. water to pumpkin and tent with aluminum foil. Cook stuffing and pumpkin side by side on sheet for 40 minutes, or until pumpkin is fork tender.
- Remove sheet from oven and allow food to cool, about 5 minutes. Taste test the stuffing, add a little water to moisten or seasoning, if needed. Then pack pumpkin with stuffing mix. Return to oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Plate the stuffed pumpkin and serve.
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