Savory Stuffed Pumpkin


I’ve been cooking my way through my latest cookbook obession, Around My French Table (by author Dorie Greenspan). I’ve made a dozen or so recipes; they’ve all been delightful, and definite do-agains. And then this one came along.

Oh. My. Guh’ness. This is SoupAddict’s favorite of favorites.


This recipe takes simple, savory flavors, and packages it in an absolutely darling presentation. Will this be on the Thanksgiving table? That would be, yesyesyes.


Start with a pumpkin. Not too big, not too small (3-4 pounds). You can use either a field pumpkin or a pie pumpkin (with jack-o’-lantern carving season over, pie pumpkins will be easier to find). Or any kind of edible round squash. If you wanted to get real fancy-schmancy with your guests, you could make individual servings, using small acorn or largish sweet dumpling squashes.


Take bread, cut it into cubes, toast it. A French or Italian boule is delightful here. (Wonder Bread, not so much.) Stale bread is totally cool. (Moldy might be pushing it.)

Then take your favorite cheese and cube it, too. Cabot’s medium cheddar is on the left, Gruyere on the right. This time of year, my very favorite aged Gouda hits the local cheese markets: Reypenaer. This Gouda is so good, it makes me go all teary-eyed.

Which is kind of embarrassing at the grocery store. (SoupAddict would like to think she looks all tender and vulnerable when she gets teary-eyed, like Uma Thurman, but that’s just not the case. Plus, Uma Thurman probably doesn’t do such things at the grocery store. The woman killed Bill; she doesn’t cry over cheese.)

The next time I make this savory stuffed pumpkin, it will have Reypenaer in it. I’ll keep a box of Kleenex handy.


I happen to live near a fantastic local sausage making company, and scored this sweet Italian fennel concoction earlier this Fall. The thing about buying locally from small producers is that it’s not just hype or a fad: you can tell when folks love what they do — it shows in the food.


Speaking of loving what you do … I contributed my own homegrown fresh thyme and purple rocambole garlic to this recipe.


The pumpkin stuffing mixed and ready to stuff.


Mmmm, sticky, slimy, stringy pumpkin guts. Makes a girl hungry.


And as if the cheese and sausage and garlic weren’t good enough, there’s cream. You can be a party-pooper and use half-n-half. But I don’t wanna to hear nuthin’ about skim milk with this recipe. Might as well top it off with water.

No skim milk.

Okay?


Awwww. I just want to pinch this punkin’s adorable little cheeks. But, despite a lot of looking, I couldn’t find cheeks, so I just patted it on the stem. Niiiice, punkin’.


After cooking is finished, use a spoon to carefully scrape the walls of the pumpkin to remove the roasted flesh, stirring it directly into the other melty, cheesy stuffing ingredients.

Oh. My. G’uhness

Savory Stuffed Pumpkin
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 pumpkin, about 3 pounds
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 pound stale bread, thinly sliced and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/4 pound cheese, such as Gruyère, Emmenthal, cheddar, or a combination, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 2–4 garlic cloves (to taste), split, germ removed, and coarsely chopped
  • 8 oz. sweet Italian sausage, cooked and drained
  • About 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives or sliced scallions
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • About 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Instructions
  1. Instructions:
  2. (Note: this is Dorie's narrative below, with my comments sprinkled in. The original recipe calls for bacon instead of sausage.)
  3. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment, or find a Dutch oven with a diameter that's just a tiny bit larger than your pumpkin. If you bake the pumpkin in a casserole, it will keep its shape, but it might stick to the casserole, so you'll have to serve it from the pot—which is an appealingly homey way to serve it. If you bake it on a baking sheet, you can present it freestanding, but maneuvering a heavy stuffed pumpkin with a softened shell isn't so easy. However, since I love the way the unencumbered pumpkin looks in the center of the table, I've always taken my chances with the baked-on-a-sheet method, and so far, I've been lucky. (Note: SoupAddict did the bowl method, which worked out really, really well, as the bowl was a perfect fit and was completely portable.)
  5. Using a very sturdy knife—and caution—cut a cap out of the top of the pumpkin (think Halloween Jack-o-Lantern). It's easiest to work your knife around the top of the pumpkin at a 45-degree angle. You want to cut off enough of the top to make it easy for you to work inside the pumpkin. Clear away the seeds and strings from the cap and from inside the pumpkin. Season the inside of the pumpkin generously with salt and pepper, and put it on the baking sheet or in the pot.
  6. Toss the bread, cheese, garlic, sausage, and herbs together in a bowl. Season with pepper—you probably have enough salt from the sausage and cheese, but taste to be sure—and pack the mix into the pumpkin. The pumpkin should be well filled—you might have a little too much filling, or you might need to add to it. Stir the cream with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper and pour it into the pumpkin. Again, you might have too much or too little—you don't want the ingredients to swim in cream, but you do want them nicely moistened. (It's hard to go wrong here.)
  7. Put the cap in place and bake the pumpkin for about 2 hours—check after 90 minutes—or until everything inside the pumpkin is bubbling and the flesh of the pumpkin is tender enough to be pierced easily with the tip of a knife. Because the pumpkin will have exuded liquid, I like to remove the cap during the last 20 minutes or so, so that the liquid can bake away and the top of the stuffing can brown a little.
  8. When the pumpkin is ready, carefully, very carefully—it's heavy, hot, and wobbly—bring it to the table or transfer it to a platter that you'll bring to the table.
  9. To serve: You have a choice—you can either spoon out portions of the filling, making sure to get a generous amount of pumpkin into the spoonful, or you can dig into the pumpkin with a big spoon, pull the pumpkin meat into the filling, and then mix everything up. I'm a fan of the pull-and-mix option. Served in hearty portions followed by a salad, the pumpkin is a perfect cold-weather main course; served in generous spoonfuls, it's just right alongside the Thanksgiving turkey.
  10. To store: It's really best to eat this as soon as it's ready. However, if you've got leftovers, you can scoop them out of the pumpkin, mix them up, cover, and chill them; reheat them the next day.
  11. Other ideas: There are many ways to vary this arts-and-crafts project. Instead of bread, I've filled the pumpkin with cooked rice—when it's baked, it's almost risotto-like. And, with either bread or rice, on different occasions I've added cooked spinach, kale, chard, or peas (the peas came straight from the freezer). I've made it without bacon (a wonderful vegetarian dish), and I've also made it and loved, loved, loved it with cooked sausage meat; cubes of ham are also a good idea. Nuts are a great addition, as are chunks of apple or pear or pieces of chestnut.

adapted, barely, from Epicurious.com (by Dorie Greenspan, Around My French Table)
 


Comments

  1. You made my Monday!

  2. Nice job on cutting the top off – I must get over my fear of puncturing myself while carving pumpkins. Apparently, I am missing out on more than jack-o-lanterns…

    • SoupAddict says:

      Heh heh. You don’t have do the zig zag … after I started, I thought, what am I doing, this is going to take forever. But, sometimes you just have to go with mojo.

  3. That sounds really good! Never would have thought of cooking a whole pumpkin! :)

  4. Come to Mama…..

    That looks sooooo good. I guess I’ll just have to order that cookbook and add it to my collection. It can be cookbook number 6,746….

    sigh…..

    • SoupAddict says:

      I’m seriously gearing myself up for a major book clean-out. In addition to decades-old books I’ll never read again, I have cookbooks that I’ll never cook from again (or even want to look at). For what it’s worth, I really do love this cookbook. It hasn’t let me down yet.

  5. I should have my book tomorrow. Can’t wait to crack it open and start making some of the recipes therein.

    But the roasted pumpkin looks delicious! And you’re right, they’re out there.

    • SoupAddict says:

      I hope you’ll enjoy the book as much as I have. I’ve made well over a dozen recipes from it, and they’re all just wonderful and delicious. Dorie’s a class-A recipe writer, and she makes everything doable.

  6. Phyllis Ryan says:

    I have a secial dinner coming up on thurdsay and this will be the centerpiece.

    • SoupAddict says:

      Oh, fun! Your peeps will love it, and the presentation is just darling and wonderfully seasonal! Let me know how it turns out.

  7. The presentation is amazing and it sounds delicious! I absolutely need to try it!
    And I know exact the feeling about gouda and other aged cheese. I think I can cry and fall on my knees in front of a Fontina or a Roman Pecorino! :-) Yum…

  8. i’m new to the community, and this is one of the first blogs/posts that i have read, and i have to say, i am hooked! this recipe looks so delish and i can’t wait to check out your other recipes. also, it reminds me of a chicken and pumpkin pot pie that i make and am planning to post on my blog today, so check me out at brandybelle.wordpress.com.

  9. Love your writing, your style of cooking and this post! Nailed, SoupAddict!

  10. I’m loving all of the pumpkin recipes. Yours looks amazing! Thank you for sharing and featuring!

  11. Okay… this just looked too awesome! I had to make it (with my own spin of course). It’s in the oven right now…. I can’t wait to try it. ;P

  12. All I want today is for this to be in my stomach.

  13. janemaynard says:

    hi there! I couldn’t resist, I had to feature this post on FoodPress.com today – what a perfect fall recipe and lovely photos! thanks for doing such great work! jane

  14. Okay…. so this wonderful soup is even better than it looks. I did make it a bit more (almost vegan). Absolutely fantastic! Thanks again for the great idea…
    Michelle

  15. Oh. My. God. My Thanksgiving table is getting so full….. do I dare? I can’t even tell you how incredible this is….. ooohh maybe brunch with mom and dad before we really get underway with thanksgiving prep…. I just NEED to make this. I’ll also be coming back again because soup is one of my favorite things in the world and I do not make it enough.

  16. Wow! Beautiful photos- this recipe sounds and looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it :) Thanks for sharing, and for the Cabot recommendation. The farm families who own Cabot appreciate your support!
    ~Jacquelyn

  17. I will definitely be trying this! It sounds amazing.

  18. That looks awesome, the mixture of Gruyère and Italian Sausages in Pumpkin will be heavenly

    Raymund
    http://angsarap.wordpress.com

  19. Woow! This meal looks so delicious!! Thanks a lot for this great recipe :)

  20. This is the one!!!! Thank you so much SA. Its on our menu this weekend, and I’m really looking forward to it – I even have the pumpkin waiting!

  21. If I get really close to my screen I can almost smell the ingredients and the final soup. It’s going to be the center piece of our Thanksgiving. Thank you for posting it. :)

  22. Wow, that looks incredible! Can’t wait to get Dorie’s latest book so I can try some of the fabulous recipes as well!

  23. I have my doubts about this one, but when it comes around on FFwD, I’ll give it a try. Cheese with pumpkin? Hmm. Your photos and post are, as usual, lovely, though.

  24. Hi,

    Great blog. Good to have found it.

    When I moved away from England I missed sausages mre than I missed my family! I started making them myself here in Greece. before long I was supplying loads of people with them each week.

    I wrote a quick and easy guide so people could find out my recipies and how to make sausages for themselves. It is free at http://www.sausages-sausages.com

    Barry

  25. Oh my… your pumpkin is gorgeous! I love how you incorporated all those favorite things into your version. That sausage looks AMAZING.

  26. I loved your post! The thought of tearing up at the cheese counter is strangely familiar to me, although with me is happens at the pastry shop! I think I might experiment with some different cheeses next time. There are so many possibilities with this recipe.

  27. Your looks yummy…you used sausages in place of bacon…brilliant ! I used half a Japanese pumpkin for this and it taste so good …Dorie is right….she is not kidding ….this is so good !

  28. HA! If Uma doesn’t cry about cheese, the woman must be made of stone. I’m jealous of your sausage. I’ve been trying to get my hands on some nice Italian sausage from the butchers around here for weeks, and none of them have any. What??!

  29. Made this. It’s fabulous. Have passed the recipe on to several friends and family. Share the wealth.

  30. Anja Janssen says:

    It really looks delicious. And the carving is a great addition. Looks great.

  31. Your photos are fantastic! I thought this was OMG good too! Absolutely wonderful dish for entertaining or just a great meal at home. Love the post!
    Happy French Friday!

  32. This looks terrific…carved perfectly! Very nice…love your last photo!

  33. It would take a stronger woman than Uma not to well up at a well crafted cheese! I can’t believe I didn’t think of cutting the top like a zigzag…Martha Stewart would shake her head in shame at me…

    This recipe will definitely be making a repeat appearance at my Thanksgiving table!

  34. I see you couldn’t wait for this to come up in FFwD to make it. I can see why! This is easily one of the best recipes in the book so far. Yours looks great!

  35. WOW! If we werent so hungry we might have considered cutting the top off in a more pretty design, but as it were, we were STARVING!! LOL!! :) looks good!!

  36. First, your Post on Dorie’s “Pumpkin with Everything Good” is phenomenal and well-written. You actually make this sound as delicious as it actually is. And, that’s what the Food Blogger’s responsibility is, I guess! This is the first opportunity I have had to peruse “Soup Addict”. Since I am getting ready to settle into the Winter in both Flagstaff and Aspen (yeah, I know, I am not feeling sorry for myself either), I am making a list of your many good recipes. Thanks. I’ll probably be asking some questions later. Okay?

  37. I am officially hungry now! It looks fabulous. Love your site and pics. What camera do you use ? I am in the market for one now. I used sausage as well, makes everything better!

  38. This recipe certainly makes fall and winter something to look forward to and enjoy. It’s nice when you can add some end-of-season bounty from your own garden to the mix, too.

  39. The sausage looks amazing. I love sausage and pumpkin together. I also love aged Gouda, Nothing like those crystallized bites. I haven’t heard of the kind you mentioned, but I’ll have to look for it. Looks like a delicious pumpkin.

  40. I loved it with the bacon, but I bet it is so delicious with the sausage. Yours looks wonderfully creamy!

  41. Love your version of this recipe! Your description of that gouda sounds so tempting. I’ll have to try to seek it out. Gorgeous photos!

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