Roasted Whole Baby Pumpkins




Contributed by Chef David Vartanian* at the renowned Vintage Press Restaurant in Visalia, CA, this festive recipe uses tender roasted chicken, Jarlsberg cheese and pistachios to create a magical winter entree.


6 baby pumpkins

1 tablespoon butter

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1 medium onion, chopped

8 oz. smoked or regular roasted chicken

4 oz. Jarlsberg cheese

1 tablespoon chopped chives

4 oz. roughly chopped fresh pistachios

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons hot chili sauce

6 oz. heavy cream

Lemon Butter Sauce

2 shallots, diced

1 cup wine

1 ounce champagne vinegar

2 ounces heavy cream

6 ounces sweet butter

Juice of one lemon

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon chives

Sauce Preparation:

To create the sauce, combine the shallots, wine and vinegar in a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer and reduce by one half. Add the heavy cream and reduce again. Over low heat whisk in the sweet butter piece by piece. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Add the chives just before serving.

Pumpkin Preparation:

Place pumpkins whole into a baking pan, cover with foil and bake in a 325°F oven for 45 minutes or until the pumpkins are soft. Use a sharp knife to remove the tops of the pumpkins, discard the seeds and season the inside of the pumpkins with salt and pepper.

Heat the butter in a sauté pan and cook the onion over medium heat until soft. In a bowl, combine the smoked chicken, Jarlsberg cheese, cooked onion and chives. Mix well and season with salt, pepper, and chili sauce to taste.

Fill pumpkins with the smoked chicken mixture and pour one ounce of heavy cream into each pumpkin. Place the tops back onto each pumpkin, cover with aluminum foil and roast pumpkins in 350°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes. To serve, place one ounce of Lemon Butter Sauce on each of the six warm plates and place a pumpkin on each plate. Top each pumpkin with chopped pistachios.

Serve this dish alongside any meat, fish or poultry or serve by itself on top of a mixed green salad.

Serves 6.

The Vintage Press is located at 216 North Willis Street, Visalia, CA 93291.

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