What does the perfect Christmas dinner need? The perfect accompaniments, of course. And this White Bean, Lemon & Apricot Stuffing is just the side you’ve been looking for.
Made from delicious yet simple whole-food ingredients, these stuffing balls are delicious with fresh lemon, thyme and juicy apricot.
One of my favourite elements of a Christmas dinner (or any roast, for that matter) has always been the stuffing. It soaks up the gravy, adds a delicious injection of herbs and fruit, and tastes just as great cold the next day. So I wanted to create a new recipe that isn’t bread-based, but still has a familiar texture; and I think these strike a great balance.
These stuffing balls are:
- savoury, nutty and hold a shape, thanks to the quinoa and beans;
- packed with festive flavour, including cinnamon, lemon, thyme and dried fruit;
- wholesome, and super tasty;
- vegan, gluten-free and only use a tiny amount of oil;
- really easy to make, without any specialist ingredients needed;
- perfect for whatever you choose as your main course, from a Christmas Pie to plant-based sausages.
If you don’t want to make these as balls, the recipe works just as well pressed into a cake tin and then sliced. You can even make these in advance and freeze them, which is exactly what I’ll be doing this year, meaning more time to enjoy Christmas morning without a pan or three in my hands…
This is my final recipe for December, so all that’s left is to wish you a fantastic Christmas, however you celebrate. I look forward to sharing many more recipes with you in 2016!
- 50g quinoa
- 1 tin of white beans (cannellini, butter), rinsed and drained
- 90g pre-cooked chestnuts
- 8 dried apricots, chopped
- 1 white onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3 tsp olive oil
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- Black pepper
- A good handful of fresh thyme leaves
- Zest of one lemon (organic/unwaxed)
- Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
- Cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions - this should take about 10 minutes.
- While the quinoa is cooking, heat 1 tsp of the oil in a frying pan. Chop the onions and garlic and gently cook these for 5-10 minutes or until they soften. Stir in the cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne pepper and turn off the heat.
- In a food processor, roughly blitz the beans, chestnuts and apricots. You want a paste, but with some texture remaining.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, bean paste, contents from the frying pan, another 1 tsp of oil, black pepper, lemon zest and fresh thyme. Mix it all together well.
- Use the remaining tsp of oil to grease an oven tray. Take a tsp of the mixture to form each stuffing ball and arrange on the tray - this recipe makes about 20.
- Cook on a middle to high shelf for 25 minutes.
Chickpeas also work well in this recipe - it can be adapted to whatever you have in the cupboard!