Last week at the Farmer’s Market, I came across a stand with the most amazing array of winter squash. On the recommendation of the farmer, I picked up 3 mini pumpkins in addition to my regular pie pumpkins. As we walked away from the stand, I told Dan
“These will be fun to stuff!”
“With what?” he asked.
“I have no idea, but it’s going to be good!”
And seriously, this is the best dish I’ve made in a long time. It is amazingly flavorful, with the soft, sweet pumpkin contrasting nicely with the slightly crunchy Swiss chard and fluffy rice. And you can even eat the skin of the pumpkins if you’d like! There is one pumpkin left-over, and I have already claimed it.
The only problem is that we had enough stuffing for 5 or 6 pumpkins, but I only had 3. That’s okay, though, because the stuffing leftovers will be great with some eggs!
Inspired by Food & Wine’s Stuffed Yellow Peppers
1 1/2 c cooked long-grain brown rice
5 mini pumpkins
1 c water
3 T olive oil
5 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound Swiss chard, tough ribs removed and leaves chopped
2 large bell peppers, chopped
2 tsp. dried rosemary
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. garlic powder
Olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 *F. Cut off the tops of all the pumpkins, and scoop out the seeds and stringy insides. Place the pumpkin bottoms, cut side down, in a large baking dish with 1 cup of water. Bake for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft and starting to brown, about 6 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and peppers and heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the rice and spices and cook until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Flip the pumpkin bottoms over in the baking dish. Spoon filling into each pumpkin “bowl,” then drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper over each pumpkin, then cover tightly with foil. Bake for another 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes.