Dark green, pale green, gray, orange, yellow, white, red, knobbly, smooth, ridged, small, enormous, round, oblong or ovoid. Ah yes, you know it is autumn when pumpkins start appearing at your local supermarket in all shapes and sizes. They are so versatile in cooking and yet I know few Britons who have even tasted it.
This year I made a new discovery in the vegetable department. One word. Kabocha. The flesh is a deep yellow and the texture so smooth. A little bit of salt, some butter and a generous dash of sugar and I’m in seventh heaven. No wait, that’s not right. I’ll more likely be locked away with my golden treasure in my corner of the house, purposefully savouring each spoonful. Total bliss.
Back to the recipe. This is just one of the many ways to prepare pumpkin. Share this simple and wholesome meal with friends and family. Who said healthy food doesn’t taste good?
Looking for some new pumpkin recipes? The baked pumpkin with mushroom and leek stuffing is definitely worth a try. A delight once it comes out of the oven!
- 1 pumpkin, about 1.4-1.8kg (3–4 lb)
- 250ml (1 cup) rice
- 500ml (2 cups) vegetable stock (optional)
- 15g (½ oz ) butter
- 300g (10 oz) leeks, chopped
- 300g mushrooms, quartered
- 2.5ml (½ teaspoon) nutmeg
- 2.5ml (½ teaspoon) cinnamon
- salt and pepper to taste
- parsley, to garnish
- Preheat oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4. Halve pumpkin crosswise and scoop out seeds and strings. Place pumpkin halves in a large baking dish, shallow side down. Bake, uncovered, for 1-1½ hours, or until fork tender.
- Meanwhile, Boil the rice and stock (you can use water if you like) in a saucepan until cooked. Drain and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan, add the leeks and fry gently for about 10 minutes until sweet and tender. Add the mushrooms, nutmeg and cinnamon and fry for another 5 minutes. Lower the heat, add the rice to the vegetable mixture and stir well to blend all the flavours.
- Quarter the two cooked pumpkin halves and divide the vegetable-rice mixture evenly between the pumpkin wedges. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.
- Brown basmati, red camargue and wild rice were used for the stuffing to give the dish a wonderful earthy and nutty flavour.
- Different varieties of rice have different cooking times.
- Smaller pumpkins can be halved and served as individual portions. Their cooking times will be less though.
- Vegans can substitute the butter with any oil they prefer.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 151
- Sugar: 10.2 g
- Sodium: 233 mg
- Fat: 2.9 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.8 g
- Carbohydrates: 31.2 g
- Fiber: 8.1 g
- Protein: 5.1 g
- Cholesterol: 4 mg