1 7-8 lb pumpkin, such as White Lumina or Jarrahdale
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
3 cloves garlic, 2 minced and 1 left whole
1 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
good pinch of saffron threads
zest of 1 clementine
approximately 2 cups basmati rice
approximately 4 cups hot vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
1. Slice the lid off the top of the pumpkin, and remove the seeds and fibrous flesh from the inside, keeping the top to put back on later.
2. In a large saucepan with a lid, fry the onion gently in oil until softened, then add the 2 minced garlic cloves, the cranberries, spices and clementine zest. Stir in the rice, turning until it becomes glossy in the pan.
3. Pour in the broth and let the pan come to a boil, then clamp down on the lid and turn the heat down to the lowest it will possibly go. Cook for 15 minutes.
4. Cut the remaining clove of garlic in half and rub the inside of the pumpkin with the cut side of each half, then, using your fingers, smear some salt over the flesh inside as well.
5. The rice stuffing will be quite damp and not very fluffy at this stage, but check it for seasoning - adding more spice, salt or pepper if wanted - and then spoon it into the garlic and salt rubbed pumpkin cavity and tamp down well. Press the pumpkin lid back on top and squeeze it down as firmly as you can (it will sit up a bit proud on top).
6. Stand the pumpkin on a double layer of aluminum foil, wrapping the foil 2 inches up around the sides and scrunching it there to keep the pumpkin out of direct contact with the water later.
7. Place the stuffed, partially wrapped pumpkin in a roasting pan, and pour in freshly boiled water to the depth of 1 inch. Cook the pumpkin for about two hours by which time it should be tender when pierced.
8. Meanwhile, get on with the gingery tomato sauce (see below)
9. Take the pumpkin out of the roasting pan and let it sit for about 10 minutes before you slice it into segments like a cake.
Gingery Tomato Sauce
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon dried ginger
1 x 1 inch length fresh ginger, peeled
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups organic tomato sauce (2 14 oz cans)
2 cups water
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1. Put the onion, garlic, dried ginger and fresh ginger into a processor and blitz to a pulp.
2. Heat the butter and oil in a deep, wide skillet, then add the onion-garlic mixture. Cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so that it doesn't burn.
3. Add the tomato sauce and water to the pan, and season with the sugar, salt and pepper.
4. Cook for 15 minutes, at a gentle simmer, then taste for seasoning before decanting into a warmed jug or gravy boat and taking it to the table, for people over their slices of stuffed pumpkin.