Black Bean Chocolate Chilli Stuffed Pumpkins
You should know by now that I’m a woman of my word, so when I promised you a heap of ways to cook with pumpkins, I wasn’t kidding.
This recipe for Black Bean Chocolate Chilli Stuffed Pumpkins (phew, that’s a mouthful) is going to make your Halloween/Day of the Dead/Bonfire Night celebrations delicious! If you haven’t tried cooking with chocolate in savoury dishes yet, this is your chance. It might sound odd – but it works. In this chilli, the dark chocolate adds just a hint of sweet cocoa flavour, and gives it all a wonderful gloss.
You’ll have to take my word for it on the gloss front, because although stuffing chilli into pumpkins tastes amazing, it doesn’t make for great photos of what’s inside.
So what is inside? You’re going to find:
- deliciously rich, savoury, spicy bean chilli;
- a magical hint of chocolate;
- a mix of fragrant spices including cumin, coriander and smoked paprika; and
- a seriously good looking vessel in the shape of sweet, soft pumpkin.
Did that sound a bit Zoolander? “That pumpkin is really, really good looking. ”
Well, it is. There’s something instantly impressive (and ridiculously easy) about presenting dinner in a pumpkin – just perfect for a lovely chilly autumn get-together. This recipe can even be made in advance to be reheated, so if you’re having people over for Bonfire Night fun, you won’t miss out on the fireworks.
This is a really simple recipe that brings big flavour. One pot, one roasting tin. And an open bar of chocolate to nibble on (and a bottle of red wine open) while the chilli bubbles away…
What could be better?
Further experiments in the land of pumpkin
Last weekend, I was working on a special seasonal cookie recipe (trials ongoing), which meant I had some wedges of roasted pumpkin left over. Being that the whole point of my little campaign to get you all to reduce food waste through the pumpkin prism, it wouldn’t be right to leave these sweet and nutty slices languishing in the fridge. (Check out last week’s recipe for Pumpkin Tarka Dhal if I’ve lost you…) So I chopped them up and threw them in a tofu scramble for Sunday lunch, together with some fresh herbs, a whack of chilli and tonnes of garlic. Perfection! Which reminds me that I need to write up a new tofu scramble recipe – maybe something that would make a tasty Christmas morning breakfast?
I’ll add it to the list…
And please excuse me for having just brought Christmas into the equation – until the end of November, you won’t hear another peep!
Did you get up to anything fun last weekend? The weather here was just beautiful – the sunlight held a really beautiful gaze through the trees, which only added to the glory of ever-increasing heaps of yellow on the ground. We got to enjoy all of this in a lovely part of the country on Saturday, when we took the train to Salisbury for a special rendezvous with my sisters Vikki and Faye, and Vikki’s bundles of excitement, laughter and curiosity: Isabelle and Maria. At six and three, they’re a pair of simultaneously brainy and hilarious little munchkins.
Finally, Halloween weekend is upon us, and I can’t wait to dive in! Pumpkin carving, cooking meals to resemble something ghoulish, and heading to the cinema for a retro film night are all on the agenda. I hope you have a frightfully good time, whatever you get up to.
And don’t forget to check out the archives for recipe inspiration; a Pumpkin & Black Eyed Bean Curry, some Savoury Pumpkin Spice Muffins, and these Sticky Chilli Cauliflower Wings would all go down well at a Halloween gathering.
- 4 individual pumpkins or winter squash
- 1-2 tsp olive oil
- 100g dried black beans, soaked overnight (or 1 tin of cooked black beans)
- 1 tsp olive/rapeseed oil
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 red bell pepper
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 fresh chilli (feel free to de-seed for less heat)
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried sage
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 100ml water
- 30ml red wine (or 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar)
- 4 squares/15g good quality, dark vegan chocolate
- Fresh coriander & pumpkin seeds for garnish
- Heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6.
- If using dried, pre-soaked beans put them in a large saucepan of boiling water and cover to cook. They should take roughly the same time as the chilli (about 40 minutes). Once cooked, drain and set aside.
- Wash the pumpkins and slice off the tops - I cut about 2cm down from the top. Scoop out the seeds and fibres and drizzle a little oil into each. Replace the 'lids', put them all into a roasting tin and then into the oven.
- Cook the pumpkins for 20 minutes, cover with foil or parchment, then cook for another 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, cook the chilli. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or cast iron pot.
- Chop the onion, carrot and pepper to roughly the same size (into about 1cm pieces) and slice the garlic. Cook in the oil on a medium-high heat for five minutes, until they brown slightly and start to soften.
- Add the spices and dried herbs to the pan, give it all a good stir and leave for 1 minute.
- You can now add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, water and wine. Stir and reduce the heat to a good simmer.
- Leave to bubble away for 30 minutes.
- Five minutes before serving, stir in the chocolate and turn off the heat.
- To serve, fill each pumpkin with chilli and top with fresh coriander and pumpkin seeds.
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