Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumpkin "Lasagna" with Swiss Chard & Arugula

Lots of recipe posts accompanied by semi-to-not-at-all-relevant personal photography coming atcha this week -- how jazzed are y'all?! 

SO JAZZED, right?! 

First up, I'm going to get all #basic up in your face with even more pumpkin patch photos + savory pumpkin entree goodness! 

Last Friday, we hit up the "Gentle Zoo" in Forney, Texas with some friends.  If you'll indulge me, a brief review for any locals reading...

The Gentle Zoo is pretty much your standard petting zoo / pumpkin patch type situation.  I don't recommend uttering the actual word "zoo" to your toddler on the drive over {because 22 miles is kind of a long way to explain that "I'm sorry, sweetie, but no, we will not be seeing an elephant or a penguin today"... over and Over and OVER AGAIN}, but there are a decent amount of animals to feed and pet {the normal goats / sheep / horse trifecta, along with some more exotic offerings such as a kangaroo, tortoise, and capybara}.  The pumpkin patch isn't all that impressive, and I have a feeling that Hep C abounds on the playground, but the "jumping pillow" is super cool, and the tractor ride looked fun {although, full disclosure: L rejected all talk of hayride as if I were suggesting a root canal}.  

Overall Impressions: The Gentle Zoo is a fun outing if it's a pretty day {not too hot -- there's not much shade at all}, your kid likes animals and bouncy things, and you don't mind a bit of a hike from Dallas Proper.  We miss Owens Pumpkin Farm, but this was a decent substitute.  Even if your Chiclets refuse to cooperate for festive photography. {Don't worry, kids. It's not like Mama washed those matching shirts specifically for this outing or anything.} 

One other DFW mention before we're on to the Main Event... We thoroughly enjoyed a lovely supper al fresco at True Food Kitchen on Saturday evening.  The Dallas locale is in Preston Center {I can aggressively endorse the patio situation!}, but it appears there are locations scattered across 6 states... sooooooo, check them out for seasonal, local, healthy fare {tons of vegan, vegetarian, and GF options... but also with booze}.  I wish I'd taken photos of our meal -- each dish was prettier than the last!  I guess I'll blame the Gen Y half of my personality for that oversight {or the Autumnal Sangria?}. 

Now! Pumpkin "Lasagna" that will blow your hair back!  Quotations included because Real Simple is about to change the way you prep lasagna -- subbing layers of fresh ravioli in place of traditional noodles + ricotta mixture.  Assembly still required, of course, but this dish comes together in much more of a snap than standard lasagna.  And, while it doesn't make for the prettiest platter {why is lasagna so damn fugly to photograph?}, the flavors can't be beat this time of year.  I think the arugula addition really cuts the sweetness of the pumpkin.  Make this one for your next dinner party {or, yaknow, Tuesday}!  

Pumpkin "Lasagna" with Swiss Chard & Arugula 
adapted from Real Simple

- 2 T. butter
- 1 large sweet onion, diced 
- 1 garlic clove, minced 
- 2 bunches Swiss Chard, stems removed & leaves roughly chopped 
- 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 T fresh sage, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg 
- 2 cans pumpkin puree 
- 1.5 cups heavy cream 
- 1.5 cups freshly grated Parmesan
- two 20 oz packages fresh refrigerated ravioli {I used Butoli} {do not pre-boil}
- 5 oz box fresh baby arugula 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

In a large skillet, heat butter over Medium heat.  Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and Swiss Chard and cook 5-7 minutes until Swiss Chard is wilted.  Stir in salt, pepper, sage, and nutmeg. Remove from heat. 

In a mixing bowl, combine pumpkin, cream, and 1 cup Parmesan. 

In a greased 9x13 casserole dish, place a layer of ravioli. Top with half of the onion/chard mixutre, then half the fresh arugula.  Spread 1/3 pumpkin mixture on top of the arugula.  Then it's time for another layer of ravioli + the remaining half of onion/chard mixutre + the remaining half of arugula + a second third pumpkin mixture.  Finally, a third layer of ravioli topped with the rest of the pumpkin mixture.  Sprinkle with the last 1/2 cup of Parmesan.  Cover casserole dish and bake for 20 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 15 more.  Allow to rest for 15 more minutes... and enjoy!  Crusty bread would be an excellent addition... as would some more greens to balance out the richness. 

Big thanks to Caitlin for sending this recipe my way! 


  1. Oh yum! This looks delish! Pumpkin and a dinner I only have to make one of, I am ALL IN!

  2. I just made that pumpkin lasagna yesterday. It is delicious!

  3. I made this. It was wonderful! Thank you for sharing the recipe. Now, where can I find grits... (I'm serious, I'm from California)


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