What happened to Spring? Well, I have this cheese pumpkin that has been wintering in my mudroom, there was a huge pot of wild rice leftover from my the Grains, Beans and Legumes class, and I like to use up my dried fruit this time of year to clear out the pantry shelves for the coming season. Throw in some Brazil nuts, crystallized ginger and couple of apples and oranges, red onions and garlic and voila! we have a hearty, warming dish just right for a dreary, rainy day much more fitting for March than May.
Change this recipe up with whatever you’ve got. Brown rice, spelt or farro, pecans or pistachios, mushrooms, thyme and a few tablespoons of vermouth instead of the apple and orange. Here I’ve used dried cranberries, currants figs, dates, and apricots, along with Brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds (a fantastic trail mix on it’s own).
- 1 cheese pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 red onions, coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 6 cups cooked wild rice
- 1 cup dried fruit
- 1 cup nuts
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- 2 apples, peeled . cored and cut into 8 pieces each
- Zest and juice of 2 oranges
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Place the oven rack on the lower level to fit the pumpkin in the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut a top out of the squash and scrape out all of the seeds.
- Heat oil and butter in a medium-size skillet and add onion. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
- Taste the stuffing for seasoning and adjust to your taste.
- Fill the cheese pumpkin with the filling, put the top on, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes, until the pumpkin flesh is easily punctured with a fork.
- Serve hot, either sliced or scooped out.
You can make this on a smaller scale by making half the stuffing and using acorn or buttercup squash. Less cooking time, too.