OK – Confession… The first THREE Pumpkins I made were devoured. Photographed is pumpking numero quatro (No hablo Espanol??! Quatro = FOUR).
And, when I say “devoured,” what I really mean was that I hosted a party – These were served as a side dish & I’m not sure a single fork touched the main course until every last scrap & nibble of these Pumpkins were consumed!!
Fortunately, I purchased what initially appeared to have been an entire pumpkin patch of squash this weekend @ the farmer’s market.
That said, the beauty of this dish lies in it’s rustic, yet slightly sophisticated presentation, while the secret being the recipe’s entirely simplistic degree of preparation & execution. These mini-pumpkins are the perfect for any fall course – Whether serving as a side dish, or plating as a meatless main course. Full to tilt with complex carbohydrates, whole grains, fresh, colorful produce, texture contrast & an absolute metric ton of flavor – This recipe is my new fall favorite!
The pumpkin is roasted with cap on, basted intermittently with a mixture canola, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, kosher salt & cayenne – roasting for an hour. In the last 15 minutes of baking remove the pumpkin cap, turn up the heat & cook until the pumpkin’s flesh is slightly caramelized, yet fork tender.
While this masterpiece is baking, wild grains of Brown Rice & Red Inca Quinoa should be prepared, then tossed with Black Beans, sweet slices of Heirloom Tomato, toasted & salted Chopped Pecans, plump Cranberries, gently sauteed Vidalia Onion & minced Garlic, fresh spinach, thyme & a host of bold Seasonings. Once removed from the Oven, immediately spoon copious amounts of Stuffing into the caramelized pumpkin, reapply cap & let all of this natural goodness meld together for 5-10minutes. Serve Pronto.
Stay Hungry. Eat Pumpkins. Drink Wine. Carry Forth.
Roasted Pumpkin with Wild Grain Cranberry-Pecan Pilaf
- 2 2-3 lb pumpkins cap cut & seeds/pulp removed
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 pinches nutmeg
- kosher salt & fresh ground peppercorn to taste
- fresh flat-leaf parsley and/or cilantro to garnish
- Pre-heat oven to 350F.
- Prepare pumpkin by carving cap & scooping out seeds/pulp.
- Mix together spices with oil, then rub onto cut brim & interior of pumpkin.
- Place pumpkins & caps (separated) on rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper & bake for 60-75 minutes, or until caramelized & just fork tender, intermittently basting.
- Meanwhile, prepare A Bachelor & His Grill's Wild Grain Pilaf (see recipe below)
- Once pumpkin just fork tender remove from oven & stuff with A Bachelor & His Grill's Wild Grain Pilaf (see recipe below).
- Place roasted caps back over stuffed pumpkins & cook for additional 5-10 minutes.
- Remove from oven, allow to rest for 2-3 minutes, fluff rice with fork, season additionally to taste, garnish & serve.
Wild Grain Pilaf with Cranberry & Pecans
- 4 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 cups wild brown rice blend dry
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup quinoa pictured: red inca quinoa, dry
- 1 cup chopped pecans salted & dry
- 1 cup finely chopped spinach lightly packed
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 8 oz canned black beans rinsed & drained
- 6 oz heirloom cherry tomatoes sliced
- 4-6 cloves garlic minced
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves finely chopped
- 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 1 red onion chopped
- kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorn to taste
- In sauce pan over medium heat, bring 2 tablespoons olive oil to a gentle simmer.
- Toss in onion & garlic, sauteing 3-5 minutes, or until fragrant.
- Add rice to simmering onion & garlic, cooking for 1-2 minutes, or until rice just beginning to brown.
- Pour in chicken stock over rice mixture.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover & simmer for 45 minutes, or until rice tender & nearly all liquid absorbed.
- Halfway through cooking rice, in a separate pot, bring water, 1 tablespoon oil, & quinoa to a boil - reduce heat, cover & simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until quinoa tender & all liquid absorbed.
- When both Rice & Quinoa completed cooking, set each aside to rest, covered minimum 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, dry roast pecans, in single layer, on lined baking sheet in oven @ 350F for 8-10 minutes, or until just golden brown & fragrant.
- Remove Pecans from oven, let cool, chop & set aside.
- In large bowl, toss together cooked rice & quinoa, then season to taste with thyme, rosemary, salt & pepper
- Fold into rice-quinoa mixture the pecans, cranberries, black beans, tomatoes & spinach.
David, A Bachelor & His Grill
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