Pumpkins will cook at different rates and will have variable sweetness. Any winter squash will work well in this dish, which can be amplified with cheese and bacon.
- 2 small pumpkins
- 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped but not finely
- 3 to 4 tablespoons sage, chopped
- 1/4 cup thin-sliced shallots, lightly browned, optional
- 3/4 cup grated Gruyere or Parmesan or 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese, optional
- 1/3 cup cooked crumbled bacon, optional
- olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
Cut open the pumpkins and remove the seeds and membranes. Cut them in wide wedges and peel them, or, wait to cut away the peel until after cooking. Brush with a little oil and bake until fork-soft but not mushy. You can try a microwave for this too, using the baked potato setting. When the pumpkin wedges have cooled to the touch, cut them into small chunks or semi-circles.
Drizzle on a little more olive oil and toss the cooked pumpkin gently with the sage, sautÃ©ed shallots and optional bacon and/or cheese. Serve with a portion of grain, say, quinoa, tossed with whole wheat pasta or spread on a pizza dough and baked.
Variation: For a completely different but equally delicious slant, omit the walnut and sage and add black beans, sautÃ©ed onion and red peppers to the cooked pumpkin chunks.
Top with grated cheddar cheese and serve with rice or with cornbread.