I’m reveling in the season over here. My fridge contains butternut squash, pumpkin, delicata squash, and pumpkin ale. Not to mention the apple tree outside that bore the fruit with which I cooked this evening.
I came up with this recipe eeeearrrly this year. Perhaps January. Once I saw mini pumpkins available at Walmart, I bought a bag with this recipe in mind. It’s honestly one of the few recipes I seriously came up with entirely on my own. For that reason, it’s not what I would consider perfect, but both Edgar and I enjoyed our dinner tonight. And I look forward to buying more mini pumpkins so that I can create a sort of pumpkin pie custard within the little shells.
Sausage, Apple, and Red Quinoa Stuffed Pumpkins
- 6 mini pumpkins
- About 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 turkey Italian sausage links, removed from casings
- 4 oz butternut squash, diced small
- 4 oz apples, diced small
- about 2 tbsp dried wild mushrooms, chopped small
- 1 leek, white parts only, chopped small
- 2 big handfuls fresh spinach
- 2 oz white wine (I used sauvignon blanc)
- 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup dry red quinoa, rinsed well
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tbsp rubbed sage
- 1 tsp thyme
- Pinch of nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400.
Cut the tops off the pumpkins and scrape out the seeds and as much stringy stuff as possible. Rub outsides and insides of pumpkins with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place everything (including tops) cut-side-down on a baking sheet and roast for abut 20 minutes or until the meat of the pumpkins is tender.
Brown the sausage over medium-high heat in a stainless steel skillet. No, do not use non-stick. In this case you want the stuck-on-brown-bits on the bottom of the pan. Once the meat is brown, remove from pan and set aside. Add the wine to the pan and scrape the bottom of the pan to “deglaze.” Next add butter. Once the butter is melted, add in the butternut squash, apples, mushrooms, leeks, and the sausage. Saute for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables/fruit are starting to take on color. Then add the quinoa and the chicken broth. Cover and simmer until most the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is cooked through (took me about 30 minutes). Add spinach, sage, thyme, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. When the spinach is just wilted, turn off heat.
Stuff the pumpkins with the filling and place back in the oven for about 5 minutes.
Yields 8 pumpkins
I would personally add crumbled goat cheese in mine, but I didn’t have any. Next time I’ll make a vegetarian version, and I’ll make sure to have some crumbled goat cheese in it as well!