moroccan quinoa stuffed pumpkin

IMG_1529Apologies for the iPhone photos with this post – I wasn’t going to write it up, but a friend saw my instagram photos and asked me for the recipe. So iPhone photos it is!

IMG_1527As soon as our German instructor, Jana, gave us this little pumpkin (homegrown by her father-in-law!) I knew what I wanted to do: stuff it. And then roast it. And then destroy it, with my mouth. It was the perfect lunch for a drizzly and cool Saturday. We had it as is, but a green salad wouldn’t hurt the arrangement at all.

It’s been very hectic here lately – I’m sorry if I haven’t posted for a while – I had my bridal shower last weekend, we’re going to Sydney next weekend, and the wedding is only 8 weeks away! (And did I mention that massive deadline I have at uni?) But, I’ve been feeling really inspired in the kitchen lately, so hopefully I’ll have some more recipes (and better photos, I promise!) to share with you soon.

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Recipe notes:

  • I used quinoa as the stuffing, but you could also use brown rice, or if you’re able to eat it, cous cous. Make more of the grain than you think you’ll need, because it would be better to have left over stuffing that you can’t stuff into your pumpkin, than not enough stuffing at all. The amount of quinoa I give below was the amount I estimated given the cavity I excavated in my pumpkin. Judge your pumpkin for yourselves.
  • I went for a middle-eastern/Moroccan flavoured stuffing, but you could take this in SO many directions. Sundried tomato, basil and olive, anyone? Or how about coriander and lime? Or za’atar instead of dukkah? Or pine nuts or pepitas instead of sunflower seeds – you see where I’m going, I know.
  • Don’t be tempted to take the pumpkin out of the oven until you’re 100% convinced it’s done, uncooked pumpkin is no fun!

Moroccan Quinoa Stuffed Pumpkin

serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side

  • 1 small pumpkin – I used a jap – approximately 500-600 g
  • 1 cup (150 g) cooked quinoa
  • 2 tsp dried currants
  • 1 tbsp dukkah
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp sweet paprika
  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds
  • sea salt, to taste
  • lemon wedges, to serve

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C (make sure there’s no fan on).
  2. Using a small, sharp knife, cut around the stem of the pumpkin. Remove the pumpkin ‘hat’ (as Adam calls it), and set aside.
  3. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds from inside the pumpkin.
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine the quinoa with the remaining ingredients (except for the lemon) and season with salt to taste.
  5. Spoon the filling into the pumpkin, pressing down firmly as you go (this is important! you want a well-packed pumpkin). Place the pumpkin’s hat back on.
  6. Place the stuffed pumpkin on a baking tray, and place in the oven. Depending on the size of your pumpkin, it will take 1.5 – 2 hours for your pumpkin to cook. Check after the 1.5 hr mark by inserting a cake tester through the skin, if you encounter no resistance after you’ve pierced the skin, your pumpkin is probably done. At this point, I’d give it another 10-15 minutes, just to be sure.
  7. Remove from oven, and let sit for 5-10 minutes (it will be super hot on the inside!). Remove the hat, and slice in half with a sharp knife. Serve with lemon wedges and cracked black pepper. Enjoy!

 

 

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