Always Add Lemon roasted pumpkin stuffed with wild mushrooms and gruyère

Roasted pumpkin makes for a brilliant vegetarian centrepiece, and the addition of the cheese makes this one feel incredibly indulgent.

roasted pumpkin stuffed with wild mushrooms and gruyere
Benito Martin and Jess Johnson


20g butter
2 onions, thinly sliced
200g wild mushrooms, such as chanterelle and porcini, cleaned and sliced
50ml white wine
6 thyme sprigs, leaves picked and roughly chopped
170g stale bread, sliced
1.8kg pumpkin
100ml cream
100ml mushroom, vegetable or chicken stock
60g grated gruyère
cayenne pepper, for sprinkling
1 tbsp grated parmesan
olive oil, for rubbing

1. Heat the butter in a sauté pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onions with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook gently and slowly until they are well on their way to being caramelised. This takes 15-20 minutes.

2. Next, add the mushrooms and wine with another pinch of salt and sauté for 5-7 minutes until the mushrooms release their juices, are cooked and the liquid has reduced to almost dry. Add the thyme and, finally, check for seasoning before setting aside.

3. Toast your bread until lightly golden in colour. Set aside.

4. Cut around the stem to make a hole in the top of your pumpkin roughly the same size as the palm of your hand. Pull the top off gently, then scrape out the seeds and pulp on the inside and discard. Season the inside of the pumpkin with salt and pepper.

5. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.

6. Combine the cream and stock in a saucepan and heat until just below simmering point. Layer the mushroom and onion mixture, bread, cheese, cream and stock into the pumpkin. I like to add a little salt and pepper and a tiny sprinkling of cayenne pepper.

7. Repeat until all ingredients have been used and the pumpkin is filled generously. You don’t want it exploding though; if it doesn’t all fit, you’ll have a little excess filling.

8. Finish with the parmesan and replace the pumpkin top. Rub the outside of the pumpkin with olive oil and roast it on a tray, uncovered, for 2-3 hours or until the outside is darkened, tender and you see the cream mixture on the inside simmering out of the top. Allow to cool for 10 minutes or so before serving.

9. Serve by removing the top and scooping a spoonful of the inside (including some pumpkin) on to plates.

Now buy the book!

always add lemon recipesOur recipes are taken from Always Add Lemon by Danielle Alvarez, which is published by Hardie Grant, price £26. To order a copy for £22.10 with free p&p until 15 November go to or call 020 3308 9193.