- Food & Drink
Munchkin is a really satisfying word to say. The bite down of ‘munch’ followed by the chew of ‘kin’ makes enunciating it an almost physical pleasure. Try it, and if you don’t spend the next couple of minutes repeating munchkin over and over again while giggling to yourself then you’re saner than me.
My local greengrocers has shelves of pumpkins and squashes stacked up like harvest bowling balls and, thanks to the farmers at Stepney City Farm, I can even recognise a few of them this year. There are smooth, ponytail-stalked onion squashes; dappled, green and yellow harlequin squashes; plump, grey-skinned crown princes; and little munchkin pumpkins – the cutest of all the mini gourds.
Being a sucker for tiny versions of things, I bought a couple of munchkin pumpkins, carried them home and only then wondered what a person does with a miniature squash. Happily, I live in the Age of the Internet, which means all questions are answered within 0.14 seconds or consigned to the bin of the philosophically impossible.
Stuffed munchkin pumpkins in the manner of Eat Like a Girl
Munchkin pumpkins, 1–2 per person
Cavolo nero, shredded
1 Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/fan oven 200°C. Slice the tops of the munchkins off. Scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon, leaving you with little pumpkin bowls. Place the pumpkins on a baking tray.
2 Chop the bacon and fry for a few minutes until the fat is golden. You’ll need about a rasher per pumpkin. Drop the bacon into the pumpkin and add a small handful of shredded cavolo nero. Season well and pour in enough cream to fill the pumpkins. Rest the lids back on top and bake for 40–45 minutes or until the pumpkins are lightly browned and soft.
You can eat the whole thing, skin and all. It’s nice with mix of soft and bitter leaves on the side, like lamb’s lettuce and puntarelle, if you must have a side with your plate’s centrepiece.