It has taken me a little longer than I would have liked to start my pumpkin party, but better late than never! Part of the delay is that I was crippled by indecision - there are so many wonderful things to make, how would I ever decide! I was particularly stumped on what to choose to make on the sweet, side, so I am kicking off this week or so of many pumpkin recipes on the savory side. Without further delay, I give you Dorie Greenspan's pumpkin stuffed with everything good, and this really is a gift. This pumpkin, oh boy, let me tell you about it - it is filled with beautiful french bread cubes, lots and lots of Gruyere and cheddar cheese, garlic, oh yes, lots of garlic, and you know what else? bacon, yup. Oh, and how is this lovely pumpkin finished off? with a little glug of heavy cream. Yes! This pumpkin is pretty insane, obviously over the top rich. I tried to make it a little less guilty by adding a whole bunch of steamed swiss chard, and it added a nice counterpoint to the richness loaded on richness. Without the bacon, this would be a great vegetarian main for thanksgiving, truth be told, I would probably rather eat this than turkey, and I love turkey. If the pumpkin a bit of an afterthought in light of all that goodness? Perhaps, but the right way to eat this is to dig into the sides and mix the soft pumpkin immediately into the stuffing. If it weren't for the bacon, cream, bread and cheese, I would eat this every week during the fall. Alas, this dish is so good I can't let myself eat it more than once a year, and I am already thinking about next year...
Dorie Greenspan's Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good, adapted from "Around My French Table"
1 large sugar pumpkin (3 lbs) or 2 small sugar pumpkins
1/4 lb shredded cheese - I used Gruyere and cheddar
4 garlic cloves, coarsley chopped (if your garlic cloves are large, just use two)
4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 large bunch of swiss chard, chopped and steamed
2 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon minced thyme
about 1/3 cup of heavy cream
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Place rack in the center of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet (or 2 if you have two pumpkins that won't fit on one) with parchment paper.
- To prepare the pumpkin(s), cut off the top of the pumpkin and using a large spoon clean out the seeds and stringy part of the pumpkin. Be sure to scrape out all of the stringy part of the pumpkin. You should cut off enough of the top so the opening is wide enough to stuff easily.
- Salt and pepper the inside of the pumpkin.
- In a large bowl combine the bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, cooked chard, scallions and thyme. You probably don't need to add anymore salt because of the bacon and cheese.
- Take this mixture and stuff into the pumpkin(s).
- Pour the cream into the pumpkin(s) - it should be moist but not swimming in cream.
- Sprinkle with nutmeg.
- Put the cap back onto the pumpkin.
- Bake in the oven until the pumpkin is cooked through, 90 minutes to 2 hours. The pumpkin is done when a blade slides in easily.
- For the last 20 minutes of cooking, remove the cap so the stuffing can get nice and crusty.
- Carefully remove the pumpkin to a serving plate and carefully slice into wedges, or, what the hey, just dig right in with a fork!