Thanksgiving is exactly one week from today, and I'm getting into the spirit of this food-centered holiday by testing out a couple of healthy side dishes before serving them on the actual day. This vegetarian cranberry-pear wild rice stuffing is made with whole grain bread instead of the usual white or sourdough, and does not call for even a dab of butter. While I followed the recipe exactly on my first attempt, it is easily adaptable and I could picture substituting apples for the pears or dried apricots for the dried cranberries.
My home was filled with smells of the season when this was in the oven, and while it would complement a Thanksgiving table perfectly, it was a satisfying warm side to a crisp green salad on a cold Fall evening. This would also make a yummy main dish when served inside Winter squashes. I'll be making this dish again, though next time I'll leave out the pepper because it was a to bit too prevalent in the aftertaste.
To get the recipe, read more.
Ingredients 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, or 2 1/2 cups water with 1 vegetable bouillon cube Directions 1. Bring the broth to a simmer in a small saucepan. Stir in the wild rice, then cover and simmer gently until the liquid is absorbed, about 35 minutes. Serves 8 or more.
Cranberry-Pear Wild Rice Stuffing
2/3 cup raw wild rice
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 large celery stalk, diced
2 medium firm pears (such as bosc), cored and diced
4 cups finely diced whole grain bread
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2 teaspoons salt-free seasoning (like Spike or Mrs. Dash)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup apple or pear juice, or as needed
2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
3. Heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the celery and sauté over medium heat until both are golden.
4. Combine the onion-celery mixture with the cooked wild rice and all the remaining ingredients except the apple juice in a mixing bowl. Stir well to combine. Drizzle the apple juice in slowly, stirring all the while, until the mixture is evenly moistened.
5. Transfer the mixture to a lightly oiled, large shallow baking dish. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top begins to get slightly crusty.
2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, or 2 1/2 cups water with 1 vegetable bouillon cube
1. Bring the broth to a simmer in a small saucepan. Stir in the wild rice, then cover and simmer gently until the liquid is absorbed, about 35 minutes.
Serves 8 or more.