Bushfire pumpkin is a beautifully savoury variety, making it popular for cooking the American favourite, pumpkin pie. Most people here tend to go for the good ol’ Butternut, but it’s a very sweet vegetable, better suited to soups.
The size and shape of this pumpkin also lends itself really well to stuffing. This is a recipe that Tim from Queen Street Growers gave me and just over half a pumpkin fed three of us. The skin is thin and also great to eat. There was nothing left on our plates, which in itself is a small miracle, as my kids often reject pumpkin.
This recipe uses quinoa, but you can use any grain you like. Rice is a go-to choice, but give any grain a go. You can also use pretty much anything else to go in the stuffing. I just grabbed whatever I had in the fridge, so that’s what I’ve listed in the ingredients below. Tim says he’s mixed through some sliced pork sausages and it was terrific. Really, you can do anything with this recipe.
Stuffed Bushfire pumpkinPrint This
- 1 x Bushfire pumpkin, topped and bottomed, halved laterally, seeds removed
- some olive oil
- salt & pepper for seasoning
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 4 silverbeet leaves, well chopped, including stems
- 2 medium mushrooms, chopped
- sprinkle of dried mixed herbs
- 1/4 cup grated pecorino or parmesan
- more olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
- Coat the pumpkin halves with the oil and season with the salt and pepper. Place them cut side up on a baking tray and bake for at least 40 minutes. The skin should be starting to brown and the pumpkin should be very soft, but not mushy.
- While the pumpkin is baking, thoroughly rinse the quinoa, then cook similarly to rice, gently boiling with twice the quantity of water until it is all absorbed (and don’t go outside to water the garden and forget about it on the stove like I did).
- When the water has been absorbed, take the quinoa off the heat and use a fork to lightly fluff it as it cools.
- Boil the kettle.
- Put the silverbeet in a large pot or bowl. After the kettle boils, pour the hot water over the silverbeet. Give it a bit of a swoosh around until the leaves are wilted and take on a rich colour. This should only take a couple of minutes, max. Strain the silverbeet and rinse in cold water. Let it drain.
- Combine the silverbeet and other ingredients, except the olive oil, in a bowl.
- When the pumpkin halves are cooked, remove them from the oven and spoon in the stuffing. Generously drizzle with olive oil. If anything, I found the dish a bit dry, so use as much oil as you like. Maybe make a dressing!
- Return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes to warm through the stuffing.
- Serve with a fresh garden salad.
The pumpkin halves hold their shape well and are easy to cut into quarters (or eighths) to serve either as a main dish or a side.