I first made this a few years back on my YouTube channel and it was a big hit. At Christmas there’s always that conundrum of ‘what to feed the vegan’ – well, guess what: this is perfect for everyone. It’s totally delicious and it makes more sense to me than moulding tofu into a turkey shape! Even though it has that seasonal feel about it, you can of course make it any time – and the herbs and dried fruits can easily be swapped out for similar ingredients.
Stuffed Butternut Pumpkin with Sage, Chestnuts and Cranberries
- 1 butternut pumpkin (squash) (about 1.8 kg), washed
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons sage leaves, finely sliced
- ½ cup (90 g) cooked quinoa
- ½ cup (60 g) walnuts or cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup (35 g) dried cranberries, roughly chopped
- good pinch of allspice
- sea salt and cracked black pepper
- 3–4 sprigs rosemary
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Slice the pumpkin in half lengthways and use a spoon to scrape out the pumpkin seeds and enough of the flesh so you can fit the stuffing in. Reserve flesh.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the reserved pumpkin flesh and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Add the onion, garlic and sage, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring from time to time, for a further 10 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent.
Fold through the quinoa, walnuts or chestnuts, cranberries, allspice and a good pinch of salt and pepper and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Pack the stuffing into the pumpkin, keeping it as even as possible in both halves. Press the two halves back together and tie them at 5 cm intervals with kitchen string, so they stay together while cooking. Take the rosemary sprigs and thread them through the string on the outside of the pumpkin.
Wrap the pumpkin tightly in foil and place on a baking tray. Bake for 2 hours or until tender (you can test this by pushing a small sharp knife into the thickest part of the pumpkin).
Serve with all the Christmas trimmings and, of course, cranberry sauce.