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.
What You Get
Madras curry powder
What You’ll Need
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Ground cayenne (optional)
Makes 6 servings
45 minutes active
1½ hours total
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.