Yummy stuffed mini-pumpkins à la Provençale

These cute little pumpkins come in many different shades of yellows and oranges and add a dash of colour to the Autumn dinner table. I used Potimarron squash, which is like a mini, more intensely orange coloured pumpkin with a delicious chestnutty taste, but I’m sure this works well with other type of small pumpkins too.

The name potimarron designates a liaison between pumpkin and chestnut (marron) since the flesh has a rich, burnished flavor that is surprisingly reminiscent of roasted chestnuts. And the great thing about these little fellows is you can eat  the skin (although our fussy children didn’t).

You’ll need (recipe for 4):

-1 Pumpkin/person (or if larger specimen, 1 for 2 persons)
-1 baguette/other nice white bread (bit old is good)
-1 clove of garlic
-1 small can of single cream
-some milk
-150g grated cheese
-Olive Oil

Decaptitate the squash and keep the hat for later. Then comes the rather more difficult than anticipated job of removing all the seeds, of which there are lots. I resorted to using my hand after a while to get them all out, admittedly it felt like some sort of veterinary procedure, but as you’ll see all worth it in the end. For the stuffing, toast the bread until it’s quite crisp, but not burnt and tear it into chunks. Put it in a bowl and add the cream and grated cheese. Squeeze the garlic clove through the press and add salt (generous amount), pepper and nutmeg. If the mixture is too dry add some milk to make it more soggy, you don’t want the pumpkin drying out. Add a couple of spoonfuls of Olive Oil. Then try not to eat lots of the mixture, like I did, before you actually stuff your pumpkin.

Fill your pumpkin about ¾ of the way to the top, rub the outside with Olive Oil and put his hat back on. Then off into the oven for a good hour at 180 degrees, until the pumpkin is nice and brownish on the outside and you can easily pierce the skin and flesh with a fork. Then just cut in two and serve with some parsley on the top with a nice green salad. Very simple, but very good!

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