Stuffed & Roasted Pumpkin
This is an exceptional addition to any holiday meal. You stuff a small pumpkin with delicious grains, cheeses and sausage and then cook & serve it right in the pumpkin! And if some of your guests are vegetarians, you can leave out the sausage or serve two pumpkins, one with sausage and one without.
1 (3-pound) pumpkin
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup of cooked farro
1/4 pound Gruyere or cheddar cheese (or a mix of all cheeses), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 to 5 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
1/3 pound Italian Sausage (or whatever sausage you like) cooked, drained, and crumbled into small pieces
1/4 cup fresh chard with stems removed and chopped into small pieces
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 cup heavy cream
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack set in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.
Similar to cutting a pumpkin for a jack-o-lantern, use a sharp knife and cut a lid off the top of the pumpkin. Make sure it’s large enough to make it easy to work inside. Save the top.
Remove the seeds and strings from both the cap and the inside of the pumpkin. Season the inside generously with salt and pepper. Place on your prepared pumpkin on a baking sheet and set aside.
In a large bowl, toss together the farro, cheese, garlic, sausage, chard, and thyme until well combined. Pack into the pumpkin; it should be well filled but not overstuffed. You may need to add some extra farro and cheese or, alternatively, some of the filling may not be needed.
In a small bowl, stir cream and nutmeg to combine. Pour over filling; filling should be moist but not swimming in cream — you may need to use more or less accordingly.
Place the top on the pumpkin and place it on the middle rack in the oven; cook until filling is bubbling and pumpkin flesh is tender, about 2 hours (check it after 1 hour and 30 minutes).
Remove top for the last 20 minutes or until liquid is slightly evaporated and top of filling is browned.
Transfer pumpkin to a serving platter (it will be hot and soft so be very careful) and bring it to the table. Serve by scooping out the filling along with a generous amount of the pumpkin flesh scraped from the inside walls of the pumpkin.
In the original recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table the ‘Pumpkin Stuffed With Everything Good’ uses stale bread, bacon and chives instead of farro, sausage and chard. That combination is also an excellent recipe.
You can substitute rice or bulgar for the farro, but the nuttiness of the farro adds a depth of flavor unmatched by other grains.