Cauliflower couscous, stuffed pumpkin, and other Thanksgiving yums

Happy day after Thanksgiving, all! The weather is so nice here that I hope all you gardeners are calling it Green Friday and getting out there to finish up fall chores.

I cooked up a storm for Thanksgiving (not literally, weather-wise), and though I did end up using some of my own produce, I want to highlight some dishes that used vegetables grown by others. The first is one I’ve discovered recently, cauliflower couscous.

This is a great dish whether you’re avoiding grains or sneaking more vegetables onto your table (I now really want to combine it with zucchini pasta and vegetarian meatballs), and it’s super-easy to make if you own a food processor – just pop chunks of cauliflower in and pulse. (If you don’t, you could grate the cauliflower, but it would take a lot more time.) Also, it’s fun to watch the florets transform themselves into what truly resembles couscous. I then cooked the “grains” in a pan with butter, and added spices, slivered almonds, and currants for a pilaf. Here it’s topped with some roasted tomatoes and peppers from the summer’s harvest.

This fall I was given a large cheese pumpkin by a fellow MG who apparently has a compulsion to buy squash (at West Virginia prices: the $2 sticker was still attached) but isn’t allowed to cook it, you know, practically every day. I have quite a lot of cooked squash in my freezer already, and this was way too big for one three-person meal, so I hung onto the pumpkin and used it as yesterday’s vegetarian main course (we had a local farm turkey as well) with the stuffing inside.

If you want a recipe for this I will point you to Martha Stewart, but you can do what I did and take any stuffing recipe you like, do the prep work (cooking onions, apples, whatever, on the stove, maybe crisping up the bread cubes in the oven if you’re starting from scratch) and then mix it together and shove it into the cleaned-out pumpkin, and put it in the oven. You won’t need to add broth, since the squash provides plenty of moisture. If you are doing a turkey too, and you only have one oven, you may have to get up a little earlier to make this work, but my pumpkin only took a bit over an hour at 375F. For serving, scoop out some of the cooked pumpkin with the stuffing. You could probably use just about any kind of squash that has a large cavity inside, but the pumpkiny-shaped ones obviously work best.

Another dish I made was this salad from the Washington Post, and while I was chopping the fennel I was reminded that it also has wishbones:

So if you decide to give up eating turkey or chicken, and still want something to pull for wishes, there you are.

I also made purple sweet potato pie, and this delicious gingerbread apple upside-down cake. Among much else.

Hope you all had lovely Thanksgivings!

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