Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side dish
- 2 small whole pumpkins
- oil, to fry
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 red onion or 1 leek (whatever is in the house), finely chopped
- 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
- 100 g brown rice
- 75 g currants
- 100 g pecans, roughly chopped
- 300 ml good-quality chicken stock
- generous handful of baby spinach
- zest of 1 lemon
- sour cream, to serve
We have a pecan farm in the Dumaresq Valley, and our pecans are definitely the stars in this recipe. We use beautiful pumpkins from the farm next door, garlic from the Liverpool Plains, and baby spinach and rosemary from our garden. It is healthy, tasty, very cheap (especially when the pumpkins are free!) and looks spectacular.
Annabelle Hickson, Bonshaw, New South Wales
Cut the tops off the pumpkins and set aside. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Scoop out a little of the pumpkin flesh to make each hollow slightly larger. Finely chop the scooped-out pumpkin.
Heat a dash of oil in a large frying pan with a lid over medium heat. Add the chopped pumpkin, garlic, onion or leek and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the onion or leek and pumpkin are soft (rather than fried and brown). Add the rice, currants and pecans and cook for 3 minutes. Add the stock and cook, covered, for 35 minutes. Add the spinach leaves and allow to wilt.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Tear off 2 sheets of foil large enough to wrap the pumpkins and place on 2 baking trays. Place the pumpkins, cut side up, on the foil. Fill the pumpkin hollows with the rice mixture, including the cooking liquid from the pan. Replace the pumpkin tops.
Bring the foil up the side of the pumpkins to wrap them. Tear off 2 more sheets of foil, place them over the pumpkins and wrap them completely. Transfer the pumpkins on the baking trays to the oven. Cook for 1 hour, or until you can easily pierce the pumpkins with a knife (the cooking time will vary according to pumpkin size).
To serve, slice wedges of the whole pumpkin and scatter over the lemon zest. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.
From Australia Cooks edited by Kelli Brett (published by ABC Books) RRP $49.99 Available from ABC online and good booksellers.
Recipe: Annabelle Hickson