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Poached Baby Pumpkins with Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from AUTENTICO Cookbook

"I always serve this dish to my American friends during Thanksgiving as either an appetizer or as dessert, instead of pumpkin pie. The key to this dish is using very high-quality Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Modena D.O.P.. This thick, sweet vinegar with a subtle acid finish is one of the most magical and unique food products in the world."

-Rolando Beramendi in AUTENTICO: Cooking Italian, the Authentic Way

Photo by Laurie Frankel

Recipe courtesy of AUTENTICO: Cooking Italian, the Authentic Way by Rolando Beramendi
Very Easy
Simple Tasty Recipes


  • 2 teaspoons Demerara sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 star anise pods
  • 2 sprigs mint, plus chopped fresh mint leaves to finish
  • Juice of 1 lemon (reserve the juiced rinds)
  • Juice of 1 orange (reserve the juiced rinds)
  • 8 whole Tellicherry black peppercorns
  • 4 miniature pumpkins, pumpkins halved and seeded
  • Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena D.O.P., to finish


Bring a large pot of water to a simmer. Add the sugar, salt, star anise, mint sprigs, lemon and orange juice and the juiced rinds, and the peppercorns. Add the pumpkin bottoms and tops. Simmer gently so the pumpkin bottoms do not break, cooking just until the flesh is tender when pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes for the bottoms and 10 for the tops.

Drain and pat the pumpkin pieces dry. Place the pumpkin bottoms on four plates and drizzle generously with the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Modena D.O.P.. Sprinkle with fresh mint and top with the pumpkin tops. Serve warm.