1 pumpkin, 2½–3 lbs
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 baguette, long and thin, cut into ½-inch chunks
4-6 oz cheese, such as Gruyère, Emmenthal, cheddar, or a combination, cut into ½-inch chunks
2–4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and chopped (optional)
About ¼ cup snipped fresh chives or sliced scallions
1 Tablespoon minced fresh thyme
About 1/3 cup heavy cream
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat, parchment, tinfoil or find a Dutch oven slightly larger than your pumpkin.
CAREFULLY cut the top of the pumpkin like a jack-o-lantern. Clean out the seeds (you can roast these, if you like) and inside strings from the inside the pumpkin. Season the inside of the pumpkin with a good dose of salt and pepper, and put it on the baking sheet or in the pot. Toss the bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, and herbs together in a bowl. Season with pepper — and pack the mix into the pumpkin. Fill the pumpkin to the top with the mixture. If you don’t have enough add more bread and cheese and extra stuff. Stir the cream with the nutmeg and some salt and pepper and pour it into the pumpkin. Add the cream until moist. Only use enough cream to moisten the mixture. You can add more or use less if necessary. This recipe is very flexible….try different veggies or meats in the pumpkin. Also, other types of squash can be used instead of a pumpkin.♥
Put the cap on the pumpkin and bake the pumpkin for about 2 hours — or until everything is bubbling and the pumpkin is tender when tested with a fork or knife. Take the cap off during the last 20-30 minutes so that the liquid can bake away and the top of the stuffing can brown.
When the pumpkin is ready bring it to the table on a serving plate. IT’S VERY HOT!!!!
Serve in a little dish or on a plate. I took a spoonful of everything so it was a layered effect but you could mix it all together and serve it that way. I like the pumpkin to remain whole like a pot of fondue. You can also slice it and serve it. I like to use a thin long baguette for the bread and then use half of the baguette for the pumpkin mixture and 1/2 (more or less for both) to serve the pumpkin on as an appetizer. Thinly slice 1/2 of a thin, long baguette (other half of baguette that you didn’t use in the pumpkin mixture) and brush olive oil on both sides. Toast on a cookie sheet or something to bake on in the oven at 500 degrees. Flip the small toasts a few times until light brown and toasty. These are perfect to serve the pumpkin appetizer on. ENJOYO!
Diverged recipe, original recipe from Dorie Greenspan. Dorie Greenspan latest book is Around My French Table. She has an audio recipe on sideDish, GOOD FOOD, KCRW.