Sunday, October 15, 2006
I've had this pumpkin dish in the works for a week or so now. It took a while to gather all the ingredients. I needed 1lb pumpkins for stuffing. 1lb. is really tiny. If you start weighing all the little pumpkins in the produce dept., you'll soon understand what I mean. Anyway, it was Whole Foods that came through for me with organic, sugar pumpkins at 99 cents per pound. Then I needed sausage. I like the sausage (and all of the choice meats) from Happy Foods, so that required a special trip too. The rest of the ingredients are: sauteed pumpkin, onion, Israeli couscous, green apple, dried cranberries and herbs. The stuffing is prepared and the pumpkins, cleaned and stuffed, and the whole orb goes in the oven, covered with foil, for about an hour. It turned out great. Although my husband made fun of the whole thing throughout the process, he ended up liking it more than he thought he would.
I got the recipe from Country Living magazine, an issue from last year. It caught my attention because of my fondness for Israeli couscous. I just love the texture and the look of this pasta. Aesthetically, the pumpkins are stunning and look like you worked all day. Actually, all the labor is in cleaning out the tiny pumpkins.
You might be thinking that this would make a great vegetarian entree. But I think, without the savory sausage, the stuffing would be flat. You would need to add another savory component to balance everything. I'll give some thought as to what that might be, nothing comes to mind right away.
While hunting and gathering for this dish, I came across a similar preparation from Beyond Salmon. Here, delicata squash is stuffed with a similar concoction except using bread crumbs instead of couscous. I like the delicata idea because it gives you a smaller serving which would make an elegant side dish.
All in all, I proved to my husband that a stuffed pumpkin can make a smashing dinner.