Blue Hokkaido Pumpkin Stuffed with Cream and Wild Mushrooms

I have never seen a smokey blue-grey pumpkin like this before and honestly, I think its the most beautiful pumpkin I’ve ever seen! Maybe its because its so different. What a delight when you cut into it and see the contrast of the smokey blue-grey skin on the bright orange flesh. Just the absolute essence of the gorgeous colours of autumn. I just love autumn! The crisp fresh air, the colourful leaves dancing their way to the ground. Love.

My first instinct, of course, was to make pie with my beautiful CSA pumpkin. I love pie, especially pumpkin. But I felt like I need to change my thinking a bit. I wanted to get creative, make something unusual, something earthy and savoury to celebrate autumn. I actually stumbled on this recipe for stuffed pumpkin while trying to figure out what type of pumpkin sat on my counter! Its like it was meant to be in a way, so I decided to make it, having no idea how it would turn out.

Molly from The Dinner Files put it best when she described the flavour of this dish: “… creamy, sweet, floury, earthy, savory delight.” Exactly, I couldn’t have described it better myself. It turned out lovely. Very creamy and with such an intense mushroom flavour, Much more flavourful then I expected. You could omit the chicken stock (as Molly does) and it would be a great vegetarian dish.

Blue Hokkaido Pumpkin Stuffed with Cream and Wild Mushrooms

Recipe adapted from The Dinner Files, with minor additions

1 3- to 4-lb. sweet pumpkin (sugar pie or blue)
1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms (I used chanterelles)
6 oz. fresh mixed wild mushrooms (I used a mixture of shiitake, oyster and cremini)
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Cut open top of pumpkin and scoop out seeds.

Soak the dried mushrooms in 1/2 cup boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain and finely chop.

Cut the fresh mushrooms into bite-size pieces and place inside the pumpkin. Sprinkle with the parsley, garlic, chopped dried mushrooms, salt and pepper. Pour cream and chicken stock over the mushrooms.

Bake uncovered until squash is very tender and liquid is bubbling, about an hour. Let sit about 15 minutes to cool and for the liquid to absorb into the pumpkin flesh. Scoop out and serve hot or warm. Season with more salt if needed.