Wild Rice Stuffing
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
- 4 celery ribs, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 5 large cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 8 ounces sweet fennel sausage, casings removed
- 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/2 cup Calvados, or white wine
- 6 cups cooked wild rice
- 4 cups cooked white rice
- 20 dried apricot halves, quartered
- 12 dried pitted prunes, halved
- Unsalted butter, for baking dish
- Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread almonds on a baking pan, and toast until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove pan from oven, and set almonds aside to cool.
- Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan set over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 7 minutes.
- Increase heat to high, and add rosemary and sage; season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until vegetables are golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat; stir in parsley. Transfer vegetables to a large bowl, and set aside. Return pan to heat.
- Crumble sausage, separating meat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to saute pan. Add sausage, and cook, stirring and breaking up meat until well browned, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Transfer sausage to bowl with reserved vegetables. Return pan to heat.
- Add remaining tablespoon olive oil to pan. Add apple, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add Calvados. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any brown bits on bottom of pan. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute.
- Remove pan from heat, and transfer mixture to bowl with sausage and vegetables. Add wild and white rice, apricots, prunes, and reserved toasted almonds. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a buttered baking dish and bake at 375 degrees until browned and heated through.
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