Stuffed Mini Pumpkins with Saffron

When it is autumn, you can see fresh, seasonal pumpkins everywhere! Any kind, color, form, size, doesn’t matter, if it is edible. I seriously love pumpkin. Squash was always on hour table in my entire life. We always roasted it (even in these days), slowly until it caramelizes and it is so sweet in your mouth. We don’t add anything, just the squash and it is still incredibly tasty.

However, we are not going to roast only today, this will be still as delicious as it can get. When I saw these cute mini pumpkins in the store I was sure I want to use them somehow. According to the size, it is perfect for stuffing. You just chop off the top, scoop everything out and there is plenty of place to add your filling.

I was thinking of something special because let’s be real, these are special pieces for the eyes so it must be for your taste buds. When I was in Dubai, I bought lots of saffron. At least 10g. It will be enough for a while, I’m sure. There you can get it for so cheap, that I couldn’t say no. If you ever go, buy some at the market! Two things you really need to check. First, the color. It must be deep red. No other colors, because then it means, they mixed it up with something. The other is the smell. You can smell saffron from pretty far, when you open it. If it is a good quality.

The main thing, that we don’t want it to be too overpowering, only the aroma of it. You don’t need a lot, so even if you buy it at the local stores, it won’t be too expensive. The stuffing will be a bit more then what you need, but it can make a perfect leftover. Now, let’s see how you can make these cute mini pumpkins.

Photo 2018. 10. 28. 18 39 49

Photo 2018. 10. 28. 18 36 53

Ingredients

  • 8 baby pumpkins
  • 100 g mushroom
  • 100 g cherry tomatoes
  • 300 g minced beef
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • ½ cup rice
  • 8-10 saffron threads
  • ½ tsp thyme
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (Celius).
  2. Make the rice first. Add a little oil to your pot. Turn the heat on, and add the rice. Fry it a little, then add 1 cup of water (always double amount of the rice) and the saffron. Add some salt and stir it once. Turn the heat low and put the lid on. Check it sometimes and there’s no more water, turn the heat off, and put the lid back. (Your rice won’t turn super yellow it just gets the taste of the saffron.)
  3. Prepare the pumpkins. Cut the top off, but be aware of the stem. Cut it under it. Scoop the seeds out. Mix 3-4 tbsp olive oil with ground pepper and 1 mashed garlic. Brush the pumpkins inside and outside as well. Sprinkle the inside with salt.
  4. Put back the top (but don’t close it completely), and bake it for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, chop the onion and 2 cloves of garlic. Heat a little oil up in a pan and add the onion, garlic, thyme. Fry it a little and add the meat. Add salt and pepper.
  6. Chop the mushroom and the tomatoes into small pieces. When the meat is done, add them to it. Cook it until everything is ready.
  7. Mix it with as much rice, as you prefer.
  8. Put the stuffing into the pumpkins. You can fill it completely, don’t be shy. 😉
  9. Put the pumpkin top back and bake them for 20-25 more minutes.
  10. Take them out from the oven, and enjoy it!

Photo 2018. 10. 28. 18 37 17

Because of the saffron, it got such a special taste, which made such a great harmony in the flavor! I was so blow away them that I needed to do it next day as well. They are just too tasty not to enjoy them as many times as possible!

Have you ever tried these mini pumpkins?

Have a wonderful time with cooking!

Marcsi

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