Roasted Whole Baby Pumpkins by Chef David Vartanian

6 Servings

6 Baby pumpkins
4 ounces Jarlsberg cheese
8 ounces Smoked (or regular) chicken, diced
2 tablespoons Hot chili sauce
1 Onion, chopped
1 tablespoon Butter
6 ounces Heavy cream
1 tablespoon Chives
Salt and freshly groundpepper
Rough chopped pistachios


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, jarlesberg cheese, cooked onion and chives. Mix well and then season with salt, pepper and chili sauce to taste.

Fill the 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 the 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.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!