I was so excited to try this recipe. I first heard it on NPR a couple of weeks ago. I religiously listen to NPR, because you always learn something new and interesting. The host of All Things Considered interviewed Dorie Greenspan, who has just published the book Around My French Table. Together they made this recipe. The joy of the recipe is that you can put ANYTHING in it that you want. If you like to cook, this is a totally fun recipe. You get to use your imagination and creativity and make it beautiful and different every time.
You can read the recipe here. The story behind it is that Ms. Greenspan, in a very Julia Child way, lives half time in France. A friend of hers told her that she had to try this recipe. Dorie said ok, and her friend said no, really you have to try this. She was so thrilled with the result that she put it in her cookbook and it has gone all over the internet thanks to the NPR story.
As you can see in the article and original recipe, you can put in anything that sounds good. Bread, rice, cheese, nuts, fruit, veggies, greens, meat, whatever is good together. Because of the flexibility, you can make it as healthy or unhealthy as you want! Then you top it with liquid to keep it all moist and tasty. As you will note, she tops it with heavy cream. That was a bit too much fat for me, so I used 2 eggs and 1/4 cup chicken broth and 1/4 cup milk.
I used spicy sausage in my pumpkin. My sister and I spent quite a bit of time comparing sausage in the grocery store this week. I went and got a package of turkey sausage links, the roll of spicy Jimmy Dean sausage, and a package of my very favorite Boulder Sausage Spicy Italian Sausage links. The spicy Jimmy Dean was very high in fat, I think it was DOUBLE the fat and calorie content than the turkey sausage. The turkey sausage were not particularly spicy, and I really wanted spicy. They were also very expensive for the four links that you got. The Boulder Sausage (if you live in Colorado and you can get it, you HAVE to try it) was only 30 more calories a link than the turkey sausage, and it was cheaper for more meat. So that is what we got. We looked at the Jenny O turkey sausage not in the links, but my store only had sweet sausage, not spicy. If you want the sweet, or normal, then go for it. This recipe is really all about what you want.
We were so happy with how it turned out! It was moist, flavorful, and delicious. And what’s more, it’s actually healthy. We liked having the rice in there, there was a great
combination of flavors too. Next time I think I’m going to use bacon, for variety. And some celery and more onion than I originally put in. I have adjusted the onion below to reflect that. This would also be good to do if you have a ton of assorted left overs.
Pumpkin Stuffed With Everything Good Points: Varies. Mine was 6 per 1/6 of a pumpkin.
- The only required ingredient is a baking pumpkin–about 3 lbs. This is not the same as a carving or decorative pumpkin. The following are things that I used:
- French bread–about a 1/4 a large loaf. I chopped it in pieces and let it dry like you would for stuffing.
- Wild rice–about 3/4 cup
- 1/2 of a granny smith apple, chopped
- About 2 oz chopped walnuts
- About 4 oz shredded gouda
- About 5 mushrooms, chopped
- Boulder Sausage spicy Italian sausage–taken out of the casings and cooked. I cooked all of them, but I only used probably the equivalent of 2.5 links in the filling.
- 3/4 of a bunch of swiss chard, chopped
- 1/2 an onion, that I sautéed in the pan after I cooked the sausage.
- Salt and Pepper
- Dried sage
- 3/4 cup total chicken broth and/or milk
- 1 egg, beaten into the broth/milk.
- Take the top off of the pumpkin. Make sure that you give yourself a big enough opening to comfortably move your hand around inside. I made mine too small the first time, and I had to cut it more to stop bruising my hand.
- Scoop out the seeds and strings from the inside, like you would for a jack’ o’ lantern. Don’t forget to save the seeds and roast them along with your pumpkin!
- Mix together everything that you want to put inside, and stuff it inside.
- I think I made just a touch too much stuffing. So when I put in a handful, I pressed it down into the pumpkin to make sure I had enough space. I found this helpful when cutting and serving the meal–the innards didn’t fall apart so easily.
- Put the lid back on the pumpkin, and put it into a baking dish of some sort. You can use a round casserole dish. I used my newly acquired dutch oven. As the author says, you can use a roasting pan with edges on it if you like. Just be warned that the pumpkin can fall apart.
- Put it in the oven at 350 for about 2 hours. Check after 90 min and take off the pumpkin cap. Let the extra liquid steam off and the top of the stuffing brown.
- There are several serving options. You can slice it and serve it that way, or you can take a big spoon and scoop it out, making sure that you get plenty of pumpkin off the side. We did the scoop method.