baked pumpkin filled with couscous and spiced pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 2-3 lb pumpkin
raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas) from pumpkin, rinsed and set aside
2 tsp garam masala (blend of traditional indian spices)
2 cups of couscous, cooked per instructions on package
Preheat oven to 450°
Cut pumpkin top off, just as you would if you were carving a pumpkin for Halloween. Remove seeds, rinse, and remove stringy pumpkin from seeds and set seeds aside in a bowl.
Fully remove all stringy innards from pumpkin with a large spoon and discard. Rub inside of the gourd with olive oil and rub 1 tsp of garam masala all over to season. Rub olive oil on a large, rimmed cookie sheet and place pumkin upside down on the pan so that the pumpkin roasts from the inside out. Roast about 45 min to an hour, depending on the thickness of your pumpkin.
While the pumpkin is roasting, lightly coat rinsed seeds with olive oil and toss with 1 tsp of garam masala, and a generous amount of salt/pepper. I like mine very salty–your choice though. Mix very well and spread evenly onto a small cookie sheet. Place on another rack, in the same oven as the pumpkin, and roast seeds until brown and fragrant. Toss seeds once, halfway through. Remove and set aside to cool.
Once the pumpkin roasts upside down for its beginning phase, flip it right side up and roast for another 15 minutes. At the same time cook couscous based on package instructions. It typically takes only 5-10 minutes, but varies from brand to brand.
Remove pumpkin from the oven once the meat is tender. Fill pumpkin with couscous and top with roasted seeds and serve.
It’s heaven in a pumpkin. Promise!
Serve with something equally fall inspired. Check out my recipe for walnut-hazelnut crusted halibut.