Roasted baby pumpkins are delicious and easy to cook. Not only they are packed with flavours and healthy goodies, but also impressive to serve. Most importantly, it is a very versatile dish. You can swap any ingredients for whatever you like or have in your fridge, each time creating unique rich flavours.
- 2 small pumpkins or squash
- 100 g of wild rice
- 2 bay leaves (fresh or dry)
- olive oil
- 1 medium-size onion (red or shallot)
- 1 garlic clove
- 50 g of black olives
- 50 g of sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/3 of a teaspoon of red chilli flakes
- 1/3 of a teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/3 of a teaspoon of cumin
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 1/2 of a teaspoon dry oregano
- 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika flakes
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Depending on the ingredients you put inside, you can change and experiment with the spices for different accents in flavours.
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C/ 355˚F.
- Carefully cut the pumpkin tops off and save them for later.
- Next, using a spoon, hollow out the centres, removing the seeds.
- Rub the pumpkins inside and out with olive oil. Then, season the inside of each with sea salt, black pepper, cumin, dried oregano and a pinch of cinnamon. Finally, put one bay leaf in each hollow.
- Bang the tops on, place pumpkins into a roasting tin and roast on the middle shelf of the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until soft.
- Meanwhile, peel and slice the onion and garlic.
- Put a frying pan over medium heat, add a splash of olive oil and chopped onion, then cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, add the sliced garlic and cook further 5 minutes or until soft.
- Roughly chop the sun-dried tomatoes. Add them to the softened onions. At the same time, add the olives, a pinch of salt and black pepper, red chilli flakes and sweet paprika. Let it cook for a couple of minutes.
- In the meantime, rinse and drain the rice. Add into a pan and cover with a double amount of water. Also, pick the rosemary leaves and add them to the pan. Bring to boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer until the rice absorbs all the water.
- Now, take the pumpkins from the oven, open the lids and carefully remove the bay leaves. Fill the roasted pumpkins with your aromatic rice mixture.
- Finally, top with the lids and roast for 10 minutes to marry all the flavours together.
I case you have some rice mixture leftover, store it in the fridge in an airtight container. It makes a fantastic breakfast or lunch when fried with eggs and with some green salad on the side.
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