The Danish concept of hygge, which loosely translates to “cosiness,” is one of the best trends to be imported from abroad in years. After all, the practice is basically an endorsement of Netflix bingeing. Since the nesting season is fast approaching—which means it’s time to hygge-ify your home by stocking up on soft-and-warm comforters and pajamas—it’s only sensible that you prep your dinner table to get snug, too.
A new cookbook called Cook Yourself Happy: The Danish Way aims to help you do just that, with 100 traditional recipes that have helped generations heat up on cold nights. These are comfort foods which utilize hearty ingredients and old-school Scandinavian flavor combinations—think pheasant ragout and warm smoked salmon with pickled cucumber.
“This recipe came about when I carved my first Halloween pumpkin with my children. I thought, ‘I cannot possibly let this delicious fresh flesh go to waste.'”
Author Caroline Fleming is particularly drawn to a certain ingredient this time of year, for reasons that are more American than Danish. “Pumpkin is one of my favorite vegetables, even in its most simple form, drizzled with olive oil and coarse sea salt and baked in the oven for an hour,” she says.
“This recipe came about when I cut my first Halloween pumpkin with my children. I thought, ‘I cannot possibly let this delicious fresh flesh go to waste,’ so I started experimenting with it. The result is a satisfying winter warmer, perfect for a girls’ dinner.”
After carving your jack-o-lantern, try Fleming’s stuffed pumpkin recipe below.
Stuffed Pumpkin with Nuts and Danish Cheese
Yield: Serves 6
1 natoora delica pumpkin
8 Tbsp olive oil
a pinch plus 1 tsp pink Himalayan salt or sea salt
1 large red onion, finely chopped
1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups pine nuts
1 1/2 cups water chestnuts, cubed
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
3/4 cup cashew nuts
2 Tbsp oats
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 3/4 cups grated aged havarti or cheddar cheese (or a dairy-free alternative)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Prepare the pumpkin by cutting a lid out of the top, then scoop out the seeds and discard. Take out the flesh carefully, leaving the skin intact. Chop the pumpkin flesh roughly and place in an ovenproof dish. Drizzle with four tablespoons of olive oil, season with a pinch of salt and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, warm the remaining four tablespoons of olive oil, then add the onion, garlic, and the remaining one teaspoon of salt. Gently fry for a couple of minutes, then add the pine nuts, water chestnuts, hemp seeds, cashew nuts, oats, and honey. Fry until golden and crispy, then set aside.
4. When the pumpkin flesh is baked, take it out of the oven and mix in the nut mixture, adding the lemon juice and half the grated cheese.
5. Turn the temperature down to 350°F. Transfer the nut filling into the whole pumpkin and top with the remaining cheese. Bake in the oven for twenty minutes.
6. Take the pumpkin out of the oven and leave for ten minutes before cutting it into six portions.
If you’re looking for more ways to utilize your leftover pumpkin, here’s a DIY face mask to try. And for those addicted to not just pumpkin but pumpkin spice, add these healthy PS-infused products to cart.