Makes 8 to 10
This distinctive and delectable side dish will help take your Thanksgiving feast out of the ordinary. These beautiful little stuffed pumpkins are not only delicious, they are a beautiful enhancement to your Holiday table, and are the very essence of the harvest.
8 miniature pumpkins – (choose pumpkins of uniform size and shape)
1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
About 1/2 cup of finely diced celery
1/2 teaspoon dry dill weed
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 tablespoon sugar
1 ½ cups long grain white rice
Chicken stock or broth – (or commercial) – (vegetarians and vegans use Court Bouillon)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and coarse ground black pepper to taste
Place the pumpkins on a baking sheet. Using a metal skewer, poke 2 or 3 small holes in the top. Put in the oven at 350° and bake until they may just be pierced with a skewer. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, cut off the tops and reserve. Use a small spoon and remove the seeds from each pumpkin. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet and gently sauté the onion, garlic and celery until soft but not yet beginning to brown. Add the next six ingredients and continue to sauté over a medium heat, stirring all the while, for another two or three minutes. Add the rice and continue to cook, stirrng until evenly coated with the oil and sautéed vegetables. Smooth the top of the rice and add enough broth or stock to stand approximately one inch above the level of the rice. Bring to a boil, uncovered, and continue cooking until the level of the liquid is just even with the top of the rice. Cover with a tight fitting lid and turn off the heat. Leave for thirty five to forty minutes. Remove the lid, add the parsley and fluff the rice. Return the lid and leave for another five minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and use this to stuff the pumpkins. Top each stuffed pumpkin with its lid. Place the stuffed pumpkins in a baking pan, cover with foil and place in a pre-heated 350° degree oven for about twenty five to thirty minutes, or until hot through. Serve hot.