Saturday, September 4, 2010

Miniature Pumpkins with Goat Cheese and Sage

Two baby pumpkins arrived in our CSA box last week (they called them miniature Chinese squash, but as far as we can tell, they're the same as the mini-pumpkins you see around Halloween time). Never knew you could eat them before. Something tells me we shouldn't try this on the two from last fall that we still have left over from Thanksgiving decorations. (Something also tells me we shouldn't still have Thanksgiving decorations out, but another, larger, lazier part points out quite reasonably that it would be wasteful to throw them out now when we're so close to an appropriate season again.) These are pretty easy to make (it took us only a few minutes to prepare them, and then they just sit in the oven for awhile), and, you know, they're cute.

2 miniature pumpkins
Olive oil
1/2 clove garlic, minced or pressed
2 leaves of sage, halved lengthwise and then sliced crosswise into ribbons
A few pine nuts or some crumbled pecans
2 pinches lemon zest (preferably Meyer)
Salt & pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg (or a pinch of ground nutmeg)
Grated parmesan
A little goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut tops off of pumpkins (save the tops) and scoop out seeds. Rub insides and the underside of the top with olive oil and garlic, then sprinkle with sage, nuts, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.

Put the tops on the pumpkins, and bake on a cookie sheet or baking pan for 40-50 minutes or until tender. Uncover, sprinkle with nutmeg and parmesan, and add goat cheese. Leave tops stem-side-down on the sides of the pumpkins, and bake for another 5 minutes or so until the cheese is hot and the pumpkin feels soft when you poke it. Let cool for a couple of minutes, and serve.

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