Baked pumpkin stuffed with Israeli couscous mushroom risotto

Mass Appeal

(Mass Appeal) – This time of year it’s all about the pumpkins and today our friend Molly Parr, columnist and creator of the blog cheap beets, is going to show us how to put a pumpkin on the table to enjoy as a delicious meal… instead of on the doorstep to enjoy as a jack o lantern!

1 sugar pumpkin (approximately 2 to 3 lbs.)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ white onion, finely diced
Kosher salt
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 cup Israeli couscous (also known as Pearl couscous)
2 cups broth

Preheat oven to 425F

Using a very sturdy knife, cut a cap out of the pumpkin as you would a Jack O’Lantern. Scoop out seeds and set them aside.

If you have Dutch Oven or something that is oven-safe with high sides, place the pumpkin inside. This will help to keep the pumpkin intact as it bakes.

Heat oil on medium heat in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the onions, a pinch of kosher salt, and cook until the onions are clear and softened. Try not to let the onions brown. This could take up to 10 minutes.

Once softened, add the mushrooms and another pinch of kosher salt to the onions and saute until softened. This could take up to 15 minutes. You will notice the mushrooms will let out a lot of water and look like they are sweating.

Stir the cup of couscous into the mushrooms and onions. Stir until everything is coated.

Add the 2 cups of broth. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, ladle the couscous mixture into the empty pumpkin which is sitting in a Dutch Oven. Place the pumpkin lid back on top. Slide into the hot oven for approximately one hour and 15 minutes.

After the long bake, a knife should easily slide into the pumpkin. When this happens, remove the pumpkin from the oven.

To serve, slice a piece of pumpkin as you would slice a piece of cake.

Enjoy with a nice green salad.

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