Roasted & Stuffed Pumpkin

This is a seasonal showstopper! Small pie pumpkins stuffed with flavorful Ajvar-sauced orzo and creamy, cheesy shrimp. The tastes, the textures, the aromas – everything you desire is packed into this one dish. And the dish itself is a roasted pumpkin! If you prefer a vegetarian version, use mushrooms instead of shrimp.
- 2 small pie pumpkins – these natural vessels should hold as much as a generous bowl - and remember the pumpkin flesh inside takes up room. Pick a size that says “individual serving” to you. (Round squash are good substitutes.)
- 2-3 T Wildfare Early Harvest EVOO
- 1 C cooked and cooled orzo (leftover orzo or rice is great in this recipe)
- ½ jar Wildfare Fire-Roasted Red Pepper Ajvar
- 1 lb medium raw shrimp (heads, tails, and shells removed)
- ½ t garlic powder
- ½ t onion powder
- 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- Salt and pepper
- Parsley or basil for garnishing
- Optional: chicken stock or water may come in handy if you want to thin the consistency of your stuffing a little bit
- Optional: grated Parmesan cheese for finishing
Cut the tops off the pumpkins to create your “bowls” and “lids.” Remove the seeds and stringy part of the flesh. Discard the stringy bits. Save the seeds if you want to roast them.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Lightly coat the outside and inside of each cleaned pumpkin (bowls and lids) with about a half tablespoon of EVOO. Salt and pepper the inside of the bowls. Place the “lids” on the “bowls” and wrap each pumpkin in aluminum foil. Note: wrap the pumpkins in such a way that you can easily peel the foil down from the top when it is time to fill them and wrap them back up for the final heat through.
Place foil-wrapped pumpkins on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven until “fork tender.” This could take 30-40 minutes depending on the size of the pumpkins and the thickness of their flesh. To test, poke the pumpkins with a fork near the stem. They will be done when slightly soft to the touch. Be vigilant in testing doneness. Overcooked pumpkins will collapse. Undercooked pumpkins won’t be part of the amazing mélange of edible ingredients.
Remove pumpkins in foil on the baking sheet from the oven and set aside on a trivet. Leave the oven on for the final heat through.
Season the shrimp with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Then mix the orzo and Ajvar together in a bowl. Heat in a microwave until warm. Set aside. The next step won’t take long.
Heat a skillet on the stovetop. Add a tablespoon or so of EVOO until shimmering. Saute the shrimp until they just turn pale pink. Add the cream cheese in small dabs. Stir to create a creamy sauce. Add stock or water if needed.
Remove 3 or 4 shrimp per serving. Set aside in a foil packet on top of the stove to keep warm. These will be placed on top of the stuffed pumpkins for a beautiful presentation later. (If that is just too fussy for you, mix everything together. It’s all going to be delicious either way!)
Add the orzo and ajvar mixture to the remaining shrimp in the skillet. Stir to combine over gentle heat.
Peel down the foil from the tops of the pumpkins taking care not to tear the foil. This can be a delicate maneuver so take your time.
Remove the “lids” and fill the “bowls” with the creamy shrimp, orzo, and ajvar mixture. (Is there extra? Hooray for you! It’s so delicious it won’t go to waste.) Replace the “lids.” Rewrap the foil. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until heated through.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place on a trivet. Remove the foil from the stuffed pumpkins. Carefully transfer each pumpkin to a plate using a large spatula. Place the “lids” off to the sides of the “bowls”, add the reserved shrimp to the top, garnish with parsley or basil, and parmesan cheese if desired. It’s time to eat this festive and fabulous dish!
16.9 FL OZ
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Early Harvest
Made from the highest quality Memecik olives from the Aegean region. Balanced, complex – a beautiful finish on salads, soups, stews, or charcuterie.
Red Pepper Ajvar
Our Fire Roasted Red Pepper Ajvar is a little sweet, a bit spicy, and satisfyingly robust.

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