Whole Stuffed Pumpkin: Roast – Louise Franc

Roast by Louise Franc_cover_

Edited extract from Roast by Louise Franc, published by Smith Street Books, $39.99. Available now. 

 

 

Whole stuffed pumpkin

Serves 8

60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) olive oil

200 g (7 oz) uncracked freekeh, rinsed

1½ teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed

1½ teaspoons cumin seeds, crushed

1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) vegetable stock

40 g (1½ oz/⅓ cup) slivered almonds, toasted

3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

70 g (2½ oz/½ cup) dried cranberries

2 large rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and chopped

large handful parsley, roughly chopped

1 large pumpkin (winter squash), weighing at least 2 kg (4 lb 6 oz)

60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) maple syrup

60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) apple cider vinegar

 

Heat a small splash of the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the freekeh and coriander and cumin seeds and cook until the mixture starts to sizzle and pop. Add the stock and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes, or up to 1 hour, until the freekeh is cooked through. Transfer to a large bowl and add the almonds, garlic, cranberries, rosemary and parsley. Mix well and season to taste.

 

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F (fan-forced).

 

Using a large kitchen knife, cut out the top of the pumpkin and set aside as a lid. Scoop out the seeds and fibres with a spoon and discard. If your pumpkin is very thick in places, scoop out a little of the pumpkin until it is even on all sides — this will help the pumpkin to cook evenly.

 

In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup, vinegar and remaining olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then pour over the freekeh. Toss to combine and check the seasoning.

 

Spoon the freekeh into the pumpkin shell. Place the pumpkin lid on top and wrap the whole pumpkin in two layers of foil.

 

Place on a baking tray, transfer to the oven and roast for 1 hour. Remove the foil and roast for at least another 1 hour. The pumpkin may seem soft at this stage when tested with a sharp knife, but it takes a long time to cook all the way through. You can test it’s done by inserting a knife into the middle and scraping off a little of the pumpkin flesh inside. If it is still a little fibrous, cook the pumpkin for longer.

 

Allow the pumpkin to rest for 10 minutes before slicing into large wedges.

 

Whole Stuffed Pumpkin

 

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