If you're looking for a rich Christmas dinner dish, look no further. This hearty and festive dish is vegan, gluten and nut-free.
My favourite part of this is that the stuffing can be customisable and you can play with your favourite veggies, grains and spices to your own liking, and the sauce and steps are more like a building block. What I suggest is always keep a grain or bean + some greens in it.
For this one, I chose to make the beans become friends with the spinach and leeks and they got along so well. The raisins and black olives are the little princesses in the story and they give a little punch and holiday feel to the baked pumpkin. The parsnip will give the dish sweetness and more depth of flavour and it will round up everything.
I also added a few squeezes of lemon juice to the tomato base, just to keep everything balanced.
As for the spices, I opted for strong thyme, dried by us in autumn, parsley and garlic. I also cooked this with a bay leaf that I took out when it was still hot.
Really, it doesn't need much more. But just imagine this with some chestnuts or porcini, faro or black lentils, rosemary or cranberries; I can go on and on.
To keep in mind for this recipe: it's better if you can find small butternut squash so you can cut them in half. If not, just cut them round, taking out the seeds. To be honest, any shape will look elegant on the plate.
But let's get to the recipe - you'll thank me for having this all year round.
Stuffed pumpkin with tomato beans, spinach and raisins
Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-free, Plant-based
Makes 4 portions
Total time: 50 mins.
1 stalk leek, washed and finely chopped
1 parsnip, washed, peeled and chopped
3 clove garlic
2 1/2 cups tomato juice
2 tbsp EVOO
2 handfuls of fresh spinach (or kale)
2 cups white beans, cooked
2-3 tbsp chopped olives
2 -3 tbsp raisins
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp chili
juice from 1/2 lemon
2 small butternut squash, cut in halves
Start by placing the squash halves in the oven at 175 degrees Celsius, until they are baked (40-60 minutes, depending on their size)
To make the stuffing, heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan. Add the chopped leeks and parsnip, and sweat them well.
When they are almost done, add the tomato juice, beans, raisins, olives, salt, chili and bay leaf and let simmer without covering, at medium heat. Stir from time to time and let some of the liquid evaporate, until you get a nice creamy consistency.
Before taking it off the heat, add the smashed garlic and thyme. Stir.
Now you can also add the spinach and wilt it in there for 1-3 mins.
Take the pan off the heat and add lemon juice, black pepper, chopped parsley, taste for salt and give an extra splash of EVOO. Don't forget to take out the bay leaf.
On a plate, put half of the baked pumpkin and add 2-3 scoops of the hot stuffing. Garnish with parsley and smashed tofu * optional.