This vegan feast is a showstopper, with a whole pumpkin set in the center of the table. Roast a kabocha, then pile it high with a spiced rice pilaf, and carve it up with “creamed” greens and warm fluffy naan.
Contains: tree nuts, wheat.
What You Get
Madras curry powder
What You'll Need
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Ground cayenne (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment or foil.
Trim the bottom of the kabocha to create a flat edge. Using a paring knife, cut around and discard the stem, so you have an opening about 6-inches wide. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Brush the kabocha all over with 3 tablespoons olive oil, including the top, and season generously with salt and pepper. Place the kabocha on the prepared pan, cup-side up. Roast until tender, 1 hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the stuffing: In a small bowl, combine 1 cup of the dried cranberries with ¼ cup hot water, and let soak until plump and soft, 10 minutes. Chop the onions (you should have about 3 cups). Finely chop the cilantro, including some of the stems. Roughly chop the pistachios. Rinse and drain the chickpeas.
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add half of the onions, season with salt, and sauté until they begin to brown, 7 minutes. Add the chickpeas and curry powder and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds. Turn down the heat to medium-low, fold in the rice, cranberries (including the soaking liquid), and pistachios, and cook until warmed through, 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and fold in a handful of the cilantro.
To make the creamed chard, remove and discard ribs from the chard, and chop the leaves. Chop 3 cloves of garlic.
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the remaining onions, season with salt, and sauté until soft, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds. Working in batches, add the chard leaves and sauté to wilt, 5 minutes total. Stir in 1 cup of the coconut milk and cook until the liquid coats the chard and reduces slightly, 5 minutes longer. Add a pinch of cayenne, if you want a little heat. Season to taste with salt.
Just before serving, slide the naan directly onto an oven rack and bake until soft and warm, 5 minutes. Cut or tear into large pieces and wrap in a towel to keep warm.
When the kabocha is ready, spoon in the stuffing, heaping it slightly above the top, and sprinkle with the remaining cilantro. Arrange the stuffed kabocha on a platter, and serve warm, carving it into pieces and serving it at the table, with the coconut creamed chard and naan on the side.