This stuffing is light and packed with gentle, soothing flavors. The wonderful thing about stuffing is that you can really do whatever you want with it: shake up the flavors, add more or less seasoning, use bread or go off the traditional path with some other grains. It's your party, you eat what you want! I wanted couscous, chestnuts, and just a little bit of creamy pumpkin, so that's what I put together. And that's what I'm having this Christmas.
Couscous and Chestnut Stuffing [Vegan]
- 1 cup vacuum-packed chestnuts
- 1 1/4 cup couscous
- 1/3 dried apricots
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 tbsp vegan margarine + extra for greasing
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- zest of 1 orange
- 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
- Preheat the oven at 200ºC/ 392ºF . Grease a large ovenproof dish.
- Place the couscous in a large mixing bowl. Boil some water in the kettle and cover the couscous with the boiling water. Set aside for 15 minutes or until it is puffed up and cooked.
- In a large pan melt some vegan margarine to lightly fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes until translucid. Pour over half of the stock and bring to a simmer. Cook the onion for 10-15 minutes, until the stock begins to reduce. Add the couscous to the pan and pour over the remaining stock. Cook until the couscous has absorbed all the stock (it shouldn't take too long) then transfer the couscous and onion to the mixing bowl. Stir in the pumpkin puree, chestnuts, dried apricots and spices.
- You could serve the stuffing as is if you're pressed for time; however if you're not in a rush, transfer the stuffing to the ovenproof dish and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Serve individually in little pumpkins for extra flair and sass.