When we went pumpkin picking recently, we may have been over enthusiastic in the amount of orange gourds that we returned with, particularly those described as 'munchkins'.
Straight away I knew what I wanted to do with them; far too perfect to not be enjoyed whole, they were crying out to be stuffed with a delicious vegetarian concoction.
Mini Stuffed Pumpkins
- Makes: 1 pumpkin serves 1 person, multiply for the right amount of 'guests'
- Preparation time: 20 minutes
- Cooking time: 35-45 minutes
- munchkin pumpkins, 1 for each person
- a knob of butter
- 3 blocks/pellets of frozen spinach
- 1tbsp mascarpone
- small block of blue cheese (matchbox size), crumbled
- black pepper for seasoning
- basmati rice mixed with mediterranean vegetables (peppers, courgette, onions, etc)
- grated parmesan
You'll also need:
- a sharp knife
- metal, circular (pastry) cutter
- Press the cutter down into the top of the munchkin pumpkin to mark out the area to be cut, then carefully cut down into the hollow centre of the pumpkin all the way around the circle. I am a little clumsy with a knife, so actually hammered the cutter down to cut through the tough exterior, then used the knife to prise the lid off.
- Remove the lid and scoop out all the pith and seeds. Slice the pith and seeds from the bottom of the lid.
- Wilt the frozen spinach with butter in the microwave for one minute. Stir through the mascarpone cheese and season with black pepper.
- Crumble in the blue cheese and fold in the rice mixture.
- Divide the mixture between the pumpkins up to the bottom ledge of the lid area. (This will allow expansion space for the rice as it cooks).
- Replace the lid loosely and place on a baking tray. Place this baking tray on a large and deep baking tray with water in, this will help keep the pumpkin moist as it is roasting.
- Cook in the oven on 190°C/375°C/Gas Mark 5 for 35-45 minutes until the pumpkin's sides are soft to the touch.
- Remove the lid and sprinkle on some grated parmesan. Replace the lid and return the over for a further two minutes for the cheese to melt.
- Serve with salad for a light lunch, or with spring green vegetables and a chicken breast/grilled tofu.