This is certainly one way to wow your friends at a dinner party. It's delicious, it's healthy and the presentation is pretty impressive: a pumpkin-vegetable mixture served in a pumpkin shell.
Go wild with the fillings. If you want to make it meaty, add some mince or canned tuna. If you want some carbs, add noodles, rice, couscous or quinoa flakes (though note that there are already 22g of carbohydrate per 1 cup of butternut pumpkin). Other combinations could include sundried tomatoes, feta, blue cheese, walnuts or anything else you might have lying in the pantry.
I've written below that it makes 4 servings, however, you may find it serves more than that. We ate a quarter each the first night, then found we could only eat an 1/8 each the second night as it is very filling. This just meant we had leftovers for lunch!
Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Cut the butternut pumpkin in half (or simply buy two halves, as I did). Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds. Keep a small handful of the seeds for later.
Put the pumpkin halves on the tray and place in the oven for an hour or until cooked through, though not mushy (you may need slightly less or more time, depending on the effectiveness of your oven).
Meanwhile, finely chop the garlic, slice the onion, cut the capsicum into thin strips and julienne, or finely slice, the zucchini.
Warm the oil in a pan over high heat, then add the garlic and onion for a few minutes. When the onion starts to soften, add the capsicum until also soft. Add the zucchini for the final few minutes of cooking.
Place the cooked vegetables in a large bowl.
Roughly chop the shallots and goats cheese, leaving a tiny bit aside for serving. Chop the herbs and add to the bowl along with the shallots, cheese, spices and pumpkin seeds, which you may need to rinse first to clean them of pumpkin strings. Stir well.
At this point, if you are preparing everything in advance, you can leave the bowl in the fridge, as well as the pumpkin once it's cooked.
Scoop out some of the pumpkin flesh, leaving enough around the sides so the skin doesn't break.
Add the pumpkin to the stuffing mixture. Combine well.
Spoon the stuffing into the pumpkin shells and flatten the tops. Place back into the oven (still at 180°C) for 15 minutes or until starting to brown.
Scatter the remaining cheese and shallots over the pumpkin halves and serve.