I’m not one to toot my own horn, but after I made this meal, I declared it the best dish I’ve ever made. I recently ended up with a blue hokkaido pumpkin out of my CSA delivery. I didn’t quite know what to do with it, but I thought I might as well put something in it and roast it. While googling blue hokkaido pumpkin, I came across this recipe from One Messy Kitchen and I was inspired to make a vegan version.
This could make a great side dish with just the pumpkin, but I opted to make it into a full meal for the both of us and served it with brown rice and wilted spinach with lemon and garlic. The flavors of everything together were perfect.
What you’ll need:
- 1 1/4 cups mushrooms (I used crimini, oyster, and shitake)
- 1 blue hokkaido pumpkin
- 3/4 cup cream (I made this from 1/4 cup cashews, and 3/4 cup almonds)
- 2 garlic clove, minced and divided
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp rubbed sage
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
- 2 cups spinach
- juice from 1/2 lemon
Start with the cream. I’m not always a huge fan of cashew cream, sometimes the flavor can be a bit much. So I decided to use almonds and cashews. I started by soaking them overnight and then separating out the cashews from the almonds – keep the water they were soaking in. Reserve 3 TBS for the cashews, and add the rest to the almonds in a food processor or kitchen ninja. Blend until the almonds are more like a mush and then add them to a milk nut bag. (better known as a jelly strainer bag – you can find them on Amazon for less than 10 dollars). Squeeze out all the liquid, then add the liquid back to the ninja, add the cashews and rest of the water and blend until smooth and creamy.
Preheat the oven to 375 and carve out your pumpkin. Chop the mushrooms and add the rosemary, sage, salt and pepper to the cream. Fill the pumpkin with mushrooms and pour the cream on top. Place the pumpkin on a baking pan or dish and roast for about 45 minutes to an hour – or until the skin of the pumpkin is easily pierced with a fork.
While the pumpkin is cooking, prepare the rice. When the pumpkin is finished, let it sit while you wilt the spinach with a clove of garlic and lemon. Place the rice and spinach on the plates and put the pumpkin on top of one of the servings of rice. Cut the pumpkin down the middle and quickly transfer the other half with its cream to the other plate.
The rice and spinach work wonders to soak up the additional cream. And you can easily peel the skin off the pumpkin as you eat. Everything all mixed together made this a rich and filling fall meal that I can’t wait to make again.