At this time of year, throughout the US, there are pumpkins for sale everywhere. Outside supermarkets, at stalls at the side of the road, outside garden centres and on the lawns outside churches. They come in all shapes and sizes from the very small, to the one weighing well over 50lbs, and they are all very cheap. These very small pumpkins (Sweet Dumpling) caught my eye last week in the supermarket, and they looked just the right size for a individual portion.
Compared to other sources of carbohydrates such as potatoes, rice, etc, pumpkins are pretty low carb, but they can be a little low on the ‘more-ish’ scale, so you need a way to boost the flavour. The best way to do this is with flavourful stuffing, which is pretty easy to do with the smaller varieties of pumpkins. Another advantage of using the mini pumpkins is that the skin is very thin, so that once they are cooked, you can cut them with a knife and eat the skin as well for a slightly nuttier flavour. You can stuff these pumpkins with a variety of fillings including cooked rice, mushrooms, ground meat, etc. I made a sun-dried tomato, breadcrumb stuffing that goes really well with the pumpkin flavour.
Roasted Mini Pumpkins with Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffing
The stuffing is based on 1 mini pumpkin, e.g. ‘Sweet Dumpling’ per person
- 1 mini pumpkin
- 3 or 4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 small clove of garlic, crushed
- A small handful of breadcrumbs such as panko or crumbled stale bread
- A small sprinkling of dried oregano or thyme
- A large glug of olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
First clean the pumpkins. Using a small sharp knife, cut a circle around the top of the pumpkin and remove the lid. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds, which you can discard or roast them for a tasty snack. Mix together the rest of the ingredients. Generously sprinkle some salt and pepper inside the hollowed out pumpkin, and then fill with the stuffing. Replace the lid and place onto a lightly greased baking tray. Cook in a 400F (200C) for about 35 to 40 minutes until the pumpkins are soft. Remove the pumpkins from the oven and serve by themselves as a starter or as a side dish.
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