Baked whole pumpkin stuffed with a cheesy curried pumpkin risotto

pumpkin

This is one bumper recipe and was inspired by a fellow foodie who served a version of this to her friends one Sunday afternoon. The original recipe calls for vast amounts of cheese and bread and sounds sensational and it got me thinking about stuffing vegetables in general. The possibilities are endless really, indeed a quick browse of the internets yielded some pretty cool results including this amazing whole chicken baked in a loaf of bread and these yummy stuffed mushrooms. Inspired by all things stuffed and with a family dinner fast approaching I decided to have a go at making a slightly less cheesy version that could be served as a yummy side with greens and grilled tarragon chicken.

This is definitely food for a crowd as it takes a bit of time and effort to put together but it looks spectacular once served and is guaranteed to impress your dinner guests. To serve I simply sliced the pumpkin into pieces and served it up a bit like a pie. Everyone at the table got a large slice of pumpkin and a decent helping of risotto.

You could certainly make the risotto on its own without the pumpkin and be just as happy, the delicious earthy flavours of cumin and coriander are the perfect partner to pumpkin so don’t skimp on the spices.

 

Baked whole pumpkin stuffed with a cheesy curried pumpkin risotto
 
Baked whole pumpkin stuffed with a cheesy curried pumpkin risotto. An impressive 'feed the whole family' kind of dish, perfect for your Autumn dinner table.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Ingredients
  • 1 large pumpkin - I used a Jap pumpkin, another good option would be a large Queensland Blue.
  • 2 tbspns of coconut or olive oil
  • 2 tspn of ground cumin + .5 teaspoon of whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tspn of ground coriander
  • 1 tspn ground turmeric
  • 2 tspn of minced garlic
  • 1 tspn of minced ginger
  • 1 whole red chilli - finely chopped
  • 1 cup of pumpkin (scooped from inside the pumpkin, cut into cubes)
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1 cup of arborio rice (use your judgement here, if you have a particularly large pumpkin you might need to up the amount of rice)
  • 5 cups of warm vegetable stock
  • 1 tbspn butter
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 50g of goats feta, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbspn. Lemon oil dressing (optional)
Method
  1. PREPARE PUMPKIN:
  2. Remove the top of the pumpkin by cutting a circle around the top with a sharp knife.
  3. Scoop out the seeds first and then begin hollowing out the pumpkin. It might be a little difficult at first, using a small teaspoon with a pointy tip seemed to work pretty well.
  4. Rinse the inside of the pumpkin and set aside.
  5. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees c.
  6. Using a pastry brush, brush some olive oil on the outer skin and then rub in a little salt and pepper.
  7. Now make the risotto.
  8. RISOTTO:
  9. In a large saucepan heat stock and keep warm over a low-medium heat.
  10. In a large, heavy based pan gently heat the oil and then dry fry the spices until they become fragrant - about 3-4 minutes.
  11. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli and fry for a further 2-3 minutes until fragrant and slightly browned.
  12. Add the pumpkin and carrot and cook until soft and starting to caramelise.
  13. Add rice and stir well to coat, cook for about 3-4 minutes, until it starts to become translucent.
  14. Turn heat down to low and add approximately half a cup of stock. Stir well. (nb: I generally use a soup ladle for this - so these measurements are approximate).
  15. Once the stock has been absorbed add another ½ cup of stock and stir through well.
  16. Keep doing this every few minutes until the rice is almost al dente (ie. soft but not quite cooked. The rice will continue cooking in the oven so best to undercook it now) This will probably take about 20-25 minutes.
  17. Remove from the heat and stir through butter, parmesan, feta and lemon oil.
  18. NOW THE FUN BEGINS:
  19. Gently scoop the risotto into the pumpkin shell, leaving a 1 centimetre gap at the top. Pour in another ½ cup of stock to help finish the rice off.
  20. Gently pop the top back on and carefully place in a suitable sized baking dish. My pumpkin fit neatly inside the Le Creuset but if yours doesn't then put it in a large roasting pan or casserole dish.
  21. Cook for a little over an hour, until you can pierce the flesh of the pumpkin with a fork.
  22. Remove from the oven, allow to rest for 5 minutes or so. Marvel at the miracle that is your stuffed pumpkin.
  23. Put on a fancy serving platter and take to the table for all your guests to see.
  24. Carve your pumpkin like a pie and enjoy.

Leave a comment. Tell me what you think.