Did you know that all those tiny pumpkins you buy for decoration this time of year are edible! It never occurred to me to eat them before, but I saw a picture on Pinterest...and you know how that goes. Now, I'm buying them up and going straight pumpkin crazy.
These are brilliant for appetizers, or an adorable main dish. If you have left over filling, I save it to serve over rice the next day.
STUFFED MINI PUMPKINS
8 mini pumpkins
1 lb ground chorizo
2 cup fresh spinach
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp Chocolate Balsamic
2 tbsp Rosemary Olive Oil
1 tbsp Tuscan Olive Oil, for drizzling
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, fresh grated
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Cut tops off pumpkins and save. Using a large spoon, scoop out seeds and strings. Save to make Roasted Pumpkin Seeds later.
Place pumpkins upside down in a pan with 1/3 inch of water. Bake for 15 minutes. Carefully turn pumpkins upright and return to oven until flesh is tender when pierced with a fork, about 5 to 10 more minutes. Let cool and set aside.
In a pan over medium high heat, brown the chorizo with the Rosemary Olive Oil. Tear the spinach into pieces and stir into the meat with the cranberries. Wilt the spinach, cooking another 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Toss the Parmesan and Balsamic into the cooked filling and remove from the heat.
Taking a fork, scrape the insides of the pumpkins until some of the flesh pulls away from the sides. Scoop the filling mixture into the cavities, filling them just over the top. Drizzle with the Tuscan Olive Oil and put the caps back on.
Roast for 10 to 15 minutes.
ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS
Separate the strings from the seeds. Rinse and dry the seeds well. Preheat the oven to 300°F. Toss in a teaspoon or so of Olive Oil and a pinch of salt. Roast about 45 minutes, until golden, stirring occasionally.