I think fall is my favorite season here in DC. The sunlight that filters through the colored leaves of the trees…I could just stare at it for hours. And it’s pumpkin time! I love the wide range of pumpkin varieties offered at my farmers’ markets and my grocery store. We don’t have such a large selection in my home country, at least not in ordinary stores, so I’m eager to try them all. The other day I bought these cute little Sweet Dumpling Squashes, similar in flavor to Acorn and Butternut, but slightly more delicate. They lend themselves beautifully to being roasted and stuffed. I like to combine the sweet pumpkin flesh with something savory so I filled them with a simple Garlic-Gruyère Sauce.
Starter or lunch, serves 4
Action Time: 20 minutes + 45-60 minutes baking time
4 Sweet Dumpling Squash (about 12-14 oz/350-400 g each)
5 oz/150 ml vegetable of chicken stock
3.5 oz/100 ml crème fraîche
2 garlic cloves, crushed
8-16 fresh sage leaves
4.5 oz/125 g coarsley grated gruyère
Extra: greased baking dish or baking sheet, aluminium foil
1. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C. Cut the squashes in half crosswise and scoop out the seeds. Arrange squash halves, cut side up, in a baking dish or on a baking sheet; you might need to trim the bottoms and tops of the squash halves so they sit flat.
2. In a jug, mix the stock with the crème fraîche and garlic. Pour the mixture carefully into the squash halves, filling them ¾ of the way up. Place a sage leave into each cavity.
3. Cover the baking dish or baking sheet with squashes with foil and bake until they are tender when pierced with a knife (the softer, the better), depending on the size of the squashes it will take about 45-60 minutes. Remove from the oven.
4. Heat the broiler. Remove the foil. Top the squashes carefully with some gruyere. If you want, you can place an extra sage leaf on top of each squash. Broil for 2-3 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown. Grind some fresh pepper over and serve with bread. Scoop out the flesh and sauce, yum!