Friday, November 14, 2008

Whole-Grain Stuffing with Apricots and Allspice

Perusing the mainstream Thanksgiving stuffing recipes available, we once more found ourselves thinking, "Again with the day-old artisan bread?" Apricots and allspice bring a little Syrian flair to this complex-carb incarnation, which is comforting and delicious on its own or stuffed inside whatever festive protein you're into. This serves 4-6 as a side dish, so scale up if you have a bigger crowd.

2 tablespoons butter
1 small leek, white and pale green parts, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
6 slices whole-grain bread (we used Alvarado St. sprouted bread), cubed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped roughly
1 egg
1 and 1/2 cups vegetable stock
Olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks, celery and garlic and saute 5 minutes, then transfer to a greased 9 x 13 inch casserole. Reheat skillet and toast bread cubes and add those to the casserole with the vegetables. Mix in thyme, allspice and apricots. Beat together egg and stock and stir into stuffing. Drizzle olive oil over the top, salt and pepper to taste and bake for 30 minutes.

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