This is the first recipe in a long time that has just cried out to me to prepare it upon becoming aware of its existence. The NPR story made it sound tempting and delicious. A pumpkin, slow roasted for two hours and stuffed with a mixture of bread, gruyere, heavy cream, bacon and herbs. It's French, from cookbook author Dorie Greenspan. And you can improvise on this one-- the version below has a few minor adaptations, but she says it's also good stuffed cooked with rice, nuts, etc. I might try adding apples next time. Vegetarians could leave out the bacon.
I made it, with a few adaptations, and it was out-of-this-world. It's a great savory entree, perfect for this time of year when Florida is finally cooling off a little, and for everywhere else in the country. My daughter (2) wasn't crazy about it, but she filled up on the side salad: spring baby greens plus cheddar and apples and a mustard vinaigrette. A nice riesling would have been a good accompaniment. (Not for the baby).
Pumpkin Stuffed With Everything Good (adapted from Dorie Greenspan)
Makes 2 very generous servings
1 pumpkin, about 4 lbs
1/4 pound stale bread, thinly sliced and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/4 pound cheese, such as Gruyere, Emmenthal, cheddar, or a combination, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
6 strips turkey bacon, cooked and chopped
Handful of chopped spinach
1 shallot, chopped
2 scallions, sliced
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
A little more than 1/3 cup heavy cream, with a dash of salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 350. Using a big knife, cut out the top of the pumpkin. Using your hands, pull out the seeds and the stringy parts. Salt and pepper the inside of the pumpkin generously. Place pumpkin on a piece of parchment paper set on a baking sheet.
In a mixing bowl, mix bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, spinach, shallot and scallions. Season with thyme, pepper, a dash of nutmeg. Stuff into the pumpkin, pour heavy cream over top. Put the top on, and cook for 90 minutes. After ninety minutes, remove top and let the top of the stuffing brown for the last 30 minutes or so.
To serve, you could either slice the pumpkin pieces or scoop out pumpkin + stuffing. I did the latter method.