Baked mini Pumpkin filled with Pearl couscous, Red Quinoa, Puffed wild rice, Black truffles & truffle oil, Roasted chestnuts, Porcini mushrooms, Sage sprig and Viola flower.
I began making this dish with preparing the three grains in the filling, firstly I rinsed 1 cup of organic red quinoa, draining and then soaked the grains in 1 1/4 cups of water for 15 minutes. I then brought this to the boil, reducing the heat and covering, simmering for about 15 minutes until all the water was absorbed. I then removed the quinoa from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes before forking to loosen the grains. I then prepared the pearl couscous by simmering 1 part couscous to 2 parts water for 8-10 minutes until all the water had absorbed. For the puffed wild rice I simply placed a handful of wild rice into a hot skillet and toasted until they puffed, while tossing them around to avoid burning. These were then removed from the skillet and set aside. Next I prepared the pumpkin by slicing the top off and scooping the seeds out with a dessert spoon, the pumpkin and its top were then placed skin side up on a flat baking tray and roasted in a 170C oven for about 20 minutes, turning when needed. The pumpkin was the removed and set aside when ready and I then peeled and chopped some chestnuts to be roasted. In a pan I melted a little butter and sweat down some chopped onions and to this I added some sliced porcini mushrooms. When the mushrooms were ready, I added in the three prepared grains, roasted chestnuts, a little truffle oil, some shaved black truffles and a little rubbed sage. This was mixed together and then removed from the stove before filling the roasted pumpkin. The dish was then garnished with a sprig of baby sage leaves and a yellow viola flower.