Dried Fruit and Toasted Nut Stuffing
Thanksgivings in Anna Lappe's house were always healthy. "It wasn't like there were sweet potatoes with marshmallows!" says the co-founder of the Small Planet Institute and author of "Diet for a Hot Planet." "My mother [author Frances Moore Lappe] doesn't eat meat, so she wanted to make a stuffing that wasn't just discarded bread stuffed in a turkey. Here, the interesting flavors and texture come from her combination of herbs, the dried fruit, the nuts -- and the juiciness of all the onions. We're huge fans of onions."
- 3/4 lb. sourdough bread cut into 1-inch cubes (8 cups)
- 1/4 cup cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 2 cups fresh parsley leaves, chopped
- 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
- 1 cup dried figs, sliced crosswise
- 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1 cup prepared chestnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup assorted fresh herbs such as sage, rosemary, and thyme, chopped
- 2 cups water
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Arrange bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and let stand overnight, uncovered, at room temperature. (Alternatively, bake bread in a 300 degrees oven until dry but not browned, about 15 minutes.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion, carrot, and celery until tender and translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer mixture to a large baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until top is golden brown and stuffing is firm, about 15 minutes more.
Serve with Mushroom Gravy (optional).