Bread and Wild Rice Stuffing with Pears and Walnuts
This is a vegetarian dish with traditional herbs that will please all your guests! Alternative recipe included for using quinoa, dried cranberries and pecans.
12 oz. or approx. 6 cups or 1/2 loaf Pamela's Amazing Bread cut in 3/4 inch cubes
- 3/4 cup wild rice
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 pears, diced (best if just before ripe)
- 1-1/4 cups walnuts, toasted and chopped
- 1 cup onions, chopped
- 1-1/2 cups celery, chopped
- 1/2 cup butter or butter substitute plus 2TBSP for dotting the top
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 TBSP fresh sage, chopped (or 2 tsp dried)
- 2 TBSP fresh oregano, chopped (or 2 tsp dried)
- 2 TBSP fresh thyme, chopped (or 2 tsp dried)
- 2-1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp pepper
- 1-1/4 cups to 2 cups vegetable broth (depending on how moist you like it)
BREAD CUBES - Best to do this the day ahead.
Following the recipe on the bag, make Pamela's Amazing Bread, allow to cool completely. Cut half the loaf into 3/4" cubes, spread on rimmed sheet pan and bake in 200° oven for an hour. Turn off oven and allow to continue drying overnight.
WILD RICE - Rice can be cooked the day before.
Put rice, water and 1 tsp salt into a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, turn down to low simmer and cook about 45 to 50 minutes, until some of the rice has split open and water has been absorbed (or drain if a small amount of water remains.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Melt butter in saute pan, add onions, celery, herbs, salt and pepper and cook until vegetables become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the pears and walnuts and cook another minute or two depending on how ripe the pears are.
In a large bowl combine the bread cubes, wild rice and butter and vegetable mixture. Toss gently to distribute all the ingredients. Add broth slowly, tossing gently between additions.
Pour stuffing into a greased 9 x 13" or large casserole dish, cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and dot with 2 TBSP butter and continue baking for 30 to 35 minutes, until edges are starting to get browned and crispy.
Alternative Version: Substitute cooked quinoa for the wild rice (same grain and water amounts, but half the cooking time), use dried cranberries and pecans instead of the pears and walnuts.