Black rice stuffed pumpkin


A baked and stuffed winter squash or pumpkin is such a gorgeous, enticing dish. With Halloween and Bonfire Night around the corner, for the filling you can’t go wrong with a smoky bean chilli (recipes abound on the web). But for something a bit different – still umami-rich and nutritious – try this dish by Sophie Gordon from the book ‘The Whole Vegetable’.

If you can’t get your hands on black rice, consider a combo of black beans and brown or red rice.

Image: an assembly of beautiful organic winter squashes on our very own farm!


  • 1 medium to large winter squash
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 750ml–1 litre veg stock
  • 300–400g black rice, rinsed well
  • 1 leek, sliced in half lengthways, washed thoroughly, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Thumb of ginger, approx. 4cm, grated
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • Pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • Large handful of kale, finely chopped, stems included
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • ½ lemon, juice and zest
  • Approx. 35g hazelnuts, or nuts of choice
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to gas 6/200C/180C fan. Cut squash lengthways so that you have two fairly equal halves. Place them on a baking tray, flesh side down, skin upwards. Lightly brush the skins with coconut oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Roast in oven for around 30–40 mins. Time will vary depending on the oven and size and type of squash. You want the top to start darkening – be careful that it doesn’t start to collapse in too much.
  3. While squash is roasting, prepare the rice. Put rice and stock into a large pot. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer until cooked, about 30–40 mins. If needed, add a dash more water. Once cooked, drain excess water and put to one side.
  4. In a saucepan over a medium heat, add about 1 tbsp of coconut oil and sauté leeks until soft. Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, oregano and chilli flakes, and sauté for a few more mins.
  5. Add the chopped kale, soy sauce, tahini, lemon juice and zest. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir frequently until the kale has cooked through and wilted. You may need to add a dash of water to help the kale on its way.
  6. Your squash should now be ready. Once it’s out of the oven, scoop out the seeds and about a quarter of the flesh. Add this to the pan of kale and stir, seasoning with extra salt and pepper. Omit the seeds in the mix if you wish.
  7. Add the kale mix to the drained rice, stirring to combine. If the mixture is a bit dry you can add the rest of the coconut oil, seasoning again if necessary.
  8. Add rice mixture to the squash halves, patting it down lightly, packing it in as much as you can. You may have extra rice left, depending on the pumpkin/squash. Serve it with the squash or pop it into a container.
  9. Sprinkle three-quarters of the nuts and nutritional yeast over the two halves and pop back into the oven, inside up this time, to cook through and toast the top slightly.
  10. To serve, slice the squash as you wish. Serve with extra leftover rice mixture, the rest of the nuts and a small drizzle of olive oil.