Around the holiday table here at the log house, you'll find a giant stew pot of turkey lovers, vegetarians, diabetics, picky kids, picky adults, at least one vegan, and occasional guests who are gluten-free, dairy-free, or both. Getting a meal on the table for all of them reminds me of a scene from a Steve Martin movie. (You know the one I mean.)
If this sounds like your house, you're probably wondering how to please everyone without making seventeen different meals, without serving the vegetarians and vegans only the side dishes cast aside by the omnivores, and with your sanity intact at the end of the feast.
Meatless Holidays, my new e-book, gives you ideas and more ideas for appetizers, side dishes, and meatless main dishes that will delight everyone at your table. If you're an omnivore cooking for vegetarians or vegans, don't panic! This book will help you select easy, satisfying, interesting recipes, with lots of mix-and-match possibilities.
The 35 featured recipes (full-color photos of each one) include many that have not been published here, as well as old favorites I've veggified, veganized, and simplified. In addition, I've included links to 125 vegetarian and vegan recipes -- festive, not fussy -- that would be great on any holiday menu.
Remember, you can read my books on ANY computer, tablet or smart phone, with the FREE Kindle Reading app. So, grab the app here.
Then, click here to download Meatless Holidays. (If you have an actual Kindle and Amazon Prime, you can borrow the book free of charge. And if you want to get a free sample, you can read it on any device.)
Herb dressing with figs and pine nuts
When I began planning for this new book, I asked a few friends to share their favorite meatless holiday recipes. Julia Shanks, professional chef and business consultant to farms and food entrepreneurs, and co-author of The Farmer's Kitchen, inspired this recipe. I've taken liberties with her original notes, but the result is so good that I don't think she'll mind. Serves 6-8.
6 cups stale rustic white bread (I use a French boule)
1 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1-1/2 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
10 dried figs, roughly diced (I use calimyrna figs)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 cup vegetable broth
1 large egg
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
Set the bread cubes in a large bowl, and leave out, uncovered, overnight. The bread should get quite dry. (If you don't have time to do this, toast the fresh bread cubes in a 425°F oven for 10-15 minutes to dry them out, and add to a large bowl.)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large, dry, nonstick frying pan, toast the pine nuts over medium heat until lightly browned, approximately 3-4 minutes. Shake the pan to keep the nuts from burning, and when they're browned, transfer them to a small plate.
In the same frying pan, melt the butter over low-medium heat. Add the onions and celery, and cook for 10 minutes or until the onions are translucent and the celery has softened slightly.
Add the figs and herbs, and cook until the figs are plump, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts, and cook for 1 minute. Then, transfer the mixture to the bowl with the bread cubes.
Whisk together the egg and vegetable broth in a measuring cup, and pour over the bread mixture. Stir to distribute the liquid throughout, moistening the bread cubes and vegetables. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
Transfer the stuffing to the prepared casserole dish. Cover, and bake for 30 minutes.
Then, uncover the casserole and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the top is as crisp as you'd like it.
Serve hot. Can be made 1-2 days ahead; refrigerate, covered, and reheat before serving.
More fun with figs and other dried fruit:
Turkey meatloaf with fig gravy
Turkey, cranberry and basil meatballs
Pear and brie salad with cashews and dried cranberries
Dried cranberry and pear chutney
Rhubarb apricot chutney
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Fresh fig and walnut bread, from Sugar & Spice by Celeste
Bruschetta with fig compote, from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
Fig and fennel bread with rye sourdough, from Wild Yeast
Roast figs with balsamic vinegar and pine nuts, from Cooksister
Savory oatmeal with figs, pine nuts and feta, from Healthy Green Kitchen
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