In season: Pumpkin, cranberries wrap up market season -
Published Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 3:43 pm
In season: Pumpkin, cranberries wrap up market season

It’s officially the end of the market season — the one in Old Market ends Saturday — and I’ve got Thanksgiving on the brain. This fall we’ve shared recipes featuring squash, Brussels sprouts, apples and beets. And for the last installment of In Season, I decided on two more Thanksgiving favorites: pumpkins and cranberries.

If you’re going to cook with pumpkin, make sure you get the right kind of gourd. Decorative pumpkins or those used for jack-o-lanterns turn out watery and stringy if you try to cook them. Instead, look for sugar pumpkins or cheese pumpkins, which have dense, sweet flesh. HyVee stores in the Omaha area have cooking pumpkins inside the store in the produce department, and if you want to pick your own, the Bellevue Berry and Pumpkin Ranch, 11001 S. 48th St. in Papillion, has cooking varieties.

Cranberries are easier. Look for bright berries that aren’t shriveled or brown. If you freeze the leftovers, they keep in the freezer for up to a year.

I’m always looking for creative Thanksgiving side dishes, and the recipes this week offer two. Presenting a roasted pumpkin at the table adds drama, and this recipe sounded too good not to share. Substitute broccoli or kale for the bacon to make this a hearty vegetarian main or side dish. Because many turn up their noses at traditional cranberry sauce, I decided on a more savory cranberry chutney with spicy ginger and rich shallots.

Until next season!

Recipe: Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good

• 1 (3-pound) pumpkin
• Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
• ¼ pound stale bread, thinly sliced and cut into ½-inch cubes
• ¼ pound Gruyere, Emmenthal or cheddar cheese (or a mix of all three), cut into ½-inch cubes
• 2 to 3 cloves garlic, split, germ removed and coarsely chopped
• 4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, drained and chopped
• ¼ cup chopped fresh chives or sliced scallions
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
• ½ cup heavy cream
• Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack set in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or use a Dutch oven that is slightly larger in diameter than your pumpkin (in which case, you will need to serve your pumpkin from the Dutch oven, as it may stick, but it will keep its shape better this way).

Using a sharp, sturdy knife, cut off top of the pumpkin, working around the top with the knife inserted at a 45-degree angle to cut off enough to make it easy to work inside the pumpkin; reserve top. Remove seeds and strings from cap and pumpkin. Season inside of pumpkin generously with salt and pepper. Place on prepared baking sheet or in Dutch oven; set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, chives and thyme until well combined. Pack into pumpkin; it should be well filled but not overstuffed. You may need to add some bread and cheese or some of the filling may not be necessary to use. In a small bowl, stir cream and nutmeg to combine. Pour over filling, which should be moist but not swimming in cream — you may need to use more or less accordingly.

Place top on pumpkin and transfer to oven; cook until filling is bubbling and pumpkin flesh is tender, about 1 hour, 30 minutes. Remove top and continue baking until liquid is slightly evaporated and top of filling is browned, 20 to 30 minutes more.

Carefully transfer pumpkin to a serving platter (or serve in Dutch oven, if using) and serve.

— Recipe from “Around My French Table,” by Dorie Greenspan

Recipe: Cranberry Chutney

• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• ¼ cup finely minced shallot
• 1 tablespoon peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
• 1 bag (12 ounces) fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over
• 1 cup sugar
• 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
• Coarse salt and ground pepper

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-low. Add shallots and ginger; cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are softened, about 5 minutes.

Add cranberries, sugar, vinegar and 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until most of the berries have burst and mixture has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Let cool completely. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

— Recipe from

Contact the writer: Sarah Baker Hansen    |   402-444-1069    |  

Sarah writes restaurant reviews and food stories for the World-Herald.

Read more dining stories

Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87
Archives: So many wonderful old Omaha photos
UNL students make dancing robot drones
Annie, this woman I paid for sex years ago is now a co-worker
Saying ‘stranger danger’ doesn’t always work, instead be direct with your child
Momaha: 10 ways to boost a kid's confidence
Tips, recipes on how to spice up your traditional Easter ham
Momaha: A lesson in balance for mom after ballet
Dubious list says Omaha's the second-most-spirited city in the U.S., whatever that means
Live Well Nebraska: Bellevue man named one of hottest fitness trainers in America
Annie, my husband walked out on me, and now I love his brother
Review: ‘Heaven is for Real’ leaves it to viewer to interpret its story
Aw, geez. 'Fargo' has a new psycho
Is this Omaha's most incredible Easter egg tree?
Omaha, Lincoln both set record lows; some fruit trees may have been damaged
Grand Island body shop owner models car after Coney dog
What to Watch: 'Fargo,' 'New Girl'
'Last Supper' quilt makes its way to Nebraska
Caravan’s steampunk ‘Fantasticks’ to pitch its tent in Iowa
Cleveland Evans: Emma blossomed from medieval roots
Annie, I'm worried my fiancée will go back to her group sex ways
Number of stay-at-home moms on the rise, it’s not who you think
Assemble the minions! How to make weird but cool Easter crafts
Changes on World-Herald comics page
Annie, my 26-year-old son has no interest in getting a job
< >
Cleveland Evans: From a moody nickname to the Ninja Turtles’ bestie
In honor of April 1, this column’s about Murgatroyd and Amphelisia.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Dr. Welbes Natural Health Clinic
$129 for 2 LipoLaser Sessions with Additional Complimentary Services ($605 value)
Buy Now
Jump to a blog:
< >
We Love Weddings blog
W.E. Love Weddings is about everything Omaha and everything weddings by the editors of Wedding Essentials Magazine.
Weddings and engagements
Share your exciting news with your community by placing an announcement today.
Inspired Home Omaha magazine
Sign up today to get the latest edition of Omaha's best magazine for local living, home entertainment, fashion and travel!
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »