These baked pumpkins stuffed with mushroom, vegetables and barley are a great dish for halloween or bonfire night that are coming up this weekend and next week. Until a year or so ago I didn’t know about bonfire night, or Guy Fawkes day as it is originally called. Here follows a short description of why Guy Fawkes night is celebrated, all though I cant promise that I get all the facts absolutely right: On November the 5th 1605 the catholic activist/terrorist Guy Fawkes was arrested trying to blow up the British parliament. As a celebration of his failure people started to light fires and make this day full of festivities. Later the tradition started including shooting fireworks (maybe as a symbol of the failed explotions?). In recent years Guy Fawkes has had a revival, becoming the symbol of the anti capitalistic movement Anonymos. I will celebrate bonfire night for the first time this year. Not so much because I am for or against Guw Fawkes, but more as an excuse to gather with friends on a dark autumn night, and because I like alternatives to Halloween. There wont be any chances of fire watching and probably no fireworks either, so I choose to focus on the important stuff; the food. Apart from these stuffed pumpkins I also plan to serve a celeriac and apple soup and some kind of sticky ginger parkin as a desert. More about that later, now lets cut the rambling and go straight to how to make these delicious pumpkins. They might not be the most typical food for Britain or for Bonfire night, but I still think they fit in quite well for the occasion, and that the flavours are typically British autumn flavours. And I am sure they will impress any dinner guests when you put it on the table!
Vegetable stuffed pumpkins
(serves 4) 2 small eatable pumpkins or butternut pumpkins
3-4 kale leafs
2 garlic cloves
½ red onion
2 tbsp white wine
1 tsp dried thyme ‘
1 bay leaf
2 decilitre barley
1 cube vegetable stock
Salt and peppar to taste
(parmesan or other strong cheese for topping)
Turn the oven to 200 C. Boil the barley with the double amount of water and the vegetable stock, until it is soft but still has some resistance when chewing.
Split the pumpkins in half. Cut a piece at the bottom of the two half’s so that it can stand steadily. Scrape out the seeds and most of the flesh, until about one centimetre remains together with the peel. Cut the flesh of the pumpkins to small pieces. Cut the onion and the garlic finely. Fry it in oil until it starts to turn golden. Add the pumpkin flesh, grated carrots and the parsnip to the pan and fry for some minutes more. Add thyme, bay leaf and white wine. Let it fry gently while stearing.
Chop the mushrooms and the kale and add to the pan. Fry it until the vegetables starts to feel soft. Season with salt and peppar. Finaly add the cooked barley to the mixture.
Scoop the mixture in to the pumpkins, top it of with some cheese if you like and bake in the oven for about 20- 30 minutes, until you easily can pinch a fork through the pumpkins.
Serve with some ajvar (sauce from roasted red peppers) a large salad and possibly some roasted vegetables.
If you like it even more fancy, save the seeds from the pumpkins and fry them in some oil and salt and sprinkle it over the pumpkins before serving.
If yo Source historical facts: Wikipedia