By Seth Fera-Schanes
Fall is in the air with Halloween and Thanksgiving right around the corner. Most bodegas in the city sell pumpkins (in addition to the many grocery stores and farmers markets.) You can also head out to the Queens County Farm which is a real working farm in the borough and pick out a few which is a nice weekend date or activity with friends.
I bought a few pumpkins and put together a little appetizer that would be perfect before Thanksgiving dinner.
4 Mini Pumpkins – Such as a mini sugar baby. 3-4 inches in height and about 3 inches in diameter.
1 cup wild rice
1 cup red and yellow bell peppers – diced
1 cup white onion – diced
1/2 cup celery – diced
Salt and pepper
Serving size: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20-25 minutes
Prepare wild rice according to directions on package. Prepare in advance as this normally takes about 30-40 minutes to cook.
In a saute pan over medium heat add a little olive oil. Allow to heat for about 1 minute. Add diced bell peppers, onion, celery and saute for 5 minutes to soften. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir occacionally. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Add 1 cup of cooked rice to bell pepper, onion and celery mixture. Fold all ingredients. Add additional salt and pepper if needed.
Wash the outside of each pumpkin. Cut the top off each and scrape out seeds with spoon. Save seeds for roasting later. Pack each pumpkin with stuffing mixture and place on a baking dish.
In a 325 F degree preheated oven add uncovered stuffed mini pumpkins (place tops in oven as well next to each pumpkin.)
Cook for 20-25 minutes or until pumpkin pieces easily with a knife. Remove, cover with top and serve.