Thursday, October 24, 2013

Recipe of the Week: Gruyere Stuffed Pumpkin

I am constantly looking for recipes that feature squash or pumpkins in unique ways.  I think squash is an under-used fall vegetable given its versatility and it pairs nicely with chicken and pork and can stand alone in a vegetarian meal.  This recipe is also unique enough to feature at your Thanksgiving table this year.


Gruyere Stuffed Pumpkin

Yields 6-8 Servings


1 medium pie pumpkin 
1 butternut or kabocha squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 loaf sourdough bread
1 garlic clove, peeled
3/4 pound apple-wood smoked bacon, but into 1/4 inch thick pieces
1/2 cup toasted and chopped pecans
1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons chopped chives
1 pound Gruyere cheese, grated
5 cups half and half
1/2 teaspoon all-spice
salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350F.  Slice kabocha or butternut squash in half, remove seeds and rub with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  

Lie squash flesh side down on a sheet tray lined with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 1 hour, or until cooked through.
Cut top off pie pumpkin, leaving 3/4 of the bottom (wide enough to later fill the pumpkin with stuffing).  Clean out the inside of the pumpkin, reserving some of the seeds.

Cut the sourdough bread into 1 inch thick slices and toast in the oven (stale bread works best and this can be done a day ahead).  Lightly rub the toasted bread with the clove of the garlic.

In a medium saute pan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, drain on a paper-towel and set aside.

When the kabocha or butternut squash is cool enough to handle, remove the flesh with a spoon.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the half and half with all-spice and salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the inside of the pie pumpkin with salt and pepper.  Begin filling the pumpkin, starting with a layer of bread, then half the bacon, half the pecans, half the pumpkin seeds, half the chives and half of the cheese.  Pour about half of the half and half mixture and lightly press down.  Repeat with the remaining ingredients, filling the pumpkin to the top.

Return the cap to the pumpkin and transfer onto an aluminum foil lined baking tray.  Bake for 2 hours, or until the pie pumpkin is cooked through.

Serve warm, scooping a bit of the pie pumpkin from the sides along with the filling, or slice off in large chunks. 

Recipe slightly adapted from the great Daniel Boulud and a recipe of his featured on an ABC news link