As snow & ice blanket the landscape around us, the warmth of fantastic winter food should not only be found in temperature, but in the recipe’s all-natural, bold & seasonal flavor / textures. For just those reasons, I’m excited to share this rustic stuffing – Loaded with roasted wild brown & black rice, toasted walnuts & artisan rye bread, sautéed onion & garlic, baked honey crisp apples, fresh cranberry, then layered a host of bold seasonings & gorgeous pomegranate seeds.
Wild Rice-Rye Bread Stuffing with Cranberry and Pomegranate
- 1 1/2 cups wild rice
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 4 cups rye bread 1/2 inch cubed
- 1 pound spicy turkey sausage casings removed
- 2 cups shallots thinly sliced
- 4-6 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Granny Smith apples diced
- 1 cup celery diced
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Seeds of 1 pomegranate
- 1 cup salted walnuts chopped and dry roasted 8-10 minutes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary minced
- salt and fresh ground peppercorn to taste
- Under ice cold tap water, rinse rice. Set aside.
- In large pot over high heat bring 3 cups water, 1 tablespoon oil, & pinch of salt to boil.
- Add rice, reduce heat to low, cover & cook 25 minutes, or until rice tender & liquid absorbed.
- Preheat oven to 400○F.
- Over a baking sheet in a single layer, arrange rye bread. Toast until crisp, approx 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven & set aside.
- Over a baking sheet in a single layer, dry roast walnuts for 8-12 minutes, or until just fragrant & golden in color. Remove from oven & set aside.
- Meanwhile, in heavy bottom pan over medium-high heat, bring 2 tablespoons olive oil to gentle simmer.
- Toss in onion & garlic, cover & sauté 3-5 minutes, or until just fragrant.
- Add sausage to onion & garlic, browning meat for 6-8 minutes, then throw in apple & celery, stirring all ingredients regularly for an additional 3-5 minutes.
- Transfer sausage mixture, rice, rye bread, walnuts, cranberries, herbs & broth to 4 quart baking dish.
- Mix all ingredients together evenly, then bake for 30 minutes, covered.
- Remove cover, then bake for an additional 15 minutes to finish cooking.
- Pull dish from oven, cool for 5-10 minutes, & fold in pomegranate seeds.
- Serve warm.