Wild rice adds a wonderful texture to this stuffing, and the slight sweetness of dried cranberries lends a delicious flavor. This is an ideal stuffing for winter squashes, and used that way makes for a dazzling holiday main dish.
Serves: 8 or more
2 1/2 cups prepared vegetable broth,
or 2 1/2 cups water with 1 vegetable bouillon cube
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 finely chopped pecans or walnuts
1 tablespoon salt-free seasoning blend
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
Bring the broth to a simmer in a small saucepan. Stir in the wild rice, then cover and simmer gently until the water is absorbed, about 35 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the celery and sauté over medium heat until both are golden.
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.
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.