Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pumpkins as Food!

So we all remember my pretty little pumpkins sitting in a row on the window-sill. Sad to say, their numbers have been decreased by one.

I had intended on baking and pureeing all three pumpkins, but then realized that that's a lot of work just to have some pumpkin. So I cast around the internets for a good recipe that couldn't be subbed with canned pumpkin. As this was to be a bit healthier than the average pumpkin muffin/cake/yummy, I went to Heidi Swanson's site to check out her pumpkin options.

No surprise at all, she has quite a few tasty looking options. After looking at them all, and with varying degrees of heartbreak as I realize that I don't have the ingredients (damn this abbreviated kitchen/pantry!), I decide upon one.

This one, to be precise. Now, yet again, I do not have much of the ingredients -- but I can improvise here! If you'd like the original recipe, by all means follow the link above. But I shall list the ingredients and steps for my variant.


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus oil for the dish
3/4 - 1 cup rice
1 small pumpkin, peeled seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup dried cranberries (or whatever one has left after snacking on them for two days...)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup walnuts

Pick a pretty lamb for the slaughter.

Here she is all chopped and ready for cooking!

Preheat the oven to 375F, and generously grease with olive oil a 9x13 pan. Heat some olive oil (about 2 Tbs. worth) to toast the rice.

Toss about 3/4 c. - 1 c. of rice into the heated oil, and forget to take pictures of it toasting. But stir it all the while for about 3 minutes, or until the rice is popping out of the pan.

Put the toasted rice into the prepped baking dish, and top with the pumpkin, cranberries, and spices.

Dribble the maple syrup over the dish. Mix the hot water and the orange juice together, and slowly pour it over the ingredients. Cover tightly with tin foil and pop in the oven for ~45 mins.

Remove pan, carefully uncover and turn the oven to 400F. As discreetly as possible, sneak a taste and adjust the seasoning. If it looks too dry, add a spoonful or two of water or stock. As mine was fine now but was to cook for longer, I threw a little more water over it. Sprinkle the nuts on top, and return the dish to the oven.

Bake until the mixture bubbles and the top is browned, another 10 minutes or so. Serve piping hot or at room temperature.

Verdict? Delicious. I keep telling Mister he needs to come home and eat this and not his company Hallowe'en potluck...

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