Pumpkins are weird in these parts. They resemble the freakish offspring of a marrow and a butternut squash rather than the Halloween friendly varieties I’m more used to.
I didn’t even know what it was at first glance, so I asked the lady selling it at my local farmers’ market.
Her exact words were: “It’s a pumpkin! Just cook it like you cook the orange ones, some people like to roast it with cheese on top.”
And so this recipe was born.
I decided to go with a kind of nacho topping which means bits of bacon, lots of grated cheddar cheese, a chopped jalapeno and some finely chopped red onions.
All the above were piled on top of a pumpkin roasted in bacon grease.
Yes, I said it – pumpkin roasted in bacon grease.
If that phrase doesn’t get your mouth watering then you are either clinically dead or certifiably insane.*
*(or a veggie/vegan, in which case omit the bacon and you still have a tasty meal)
Cheese n’ Bacon Topped Roast Pumpkin (serves 2)
- 1/2 pumpkin, de-seeded and de-pulped
- 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
- 4 rashers streaky bacon
- 2 tbsps butter
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 1 jalapeno, very finely chopped
- Heat the butter in a frying pan and, when frothing, add the bacon, onions and jalapeno. Fry until the bacon is crispy and then remove everything from the pan with a slotted spoon, retaining the grease.
- When the grease has cooled a bit (ie you’re in no danger of getting third degree burns), brush it all over the pumpkin half. Season with sea salt and black pepper then place, flesh side down, in a baking dish.
- Roast at 400 for 45 minutes ’til tender.
- While the pumpkin is roasting, cut the bacon into small pieces and mix together with the cheese, jalapeno, and onion in a large mixing bowl.
- Remove the pumpkin from the oven. Flip it over and liberally sprinkle the cheese mix all over – concentrating in particular on the cavity which contained the seeds and pulp.
- Put it under the grill/broiler for a few minutes until the cheese melts then remove and serve immediately.
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