In The Kitchen
If you’re anything like me, you’re starting to search for something fresh and new for your holiday table. We hope the suggestions below answer that “search.” The compote is delicious on turkey or stuffing, or anything on your table…. And a little different. The beans with spinach might definitely be something new for you and your guests. But who knows, it could end up a favorite along with that green bean casserole you just gotta’ make!!! Bon Appetit!!
WILD RICE, FRUIT & PECAN STUFFING
1½ Tbsp. olive oil
3 large celery stalks, finely chopped
1 C. finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1½ C. wild rice
2 C. low-salt chicken broth
1 tsp. kosher salt
¾ C. pecans
½ C. dried cranberries
¼ C. dried apricots, coarsely chopped
¼ C. golden raisins
½ C. fresh cranberries, thinly sliced
1½ C. thinly sliced small celery stalks
½ C. celery leaves, coarsely chopped
Heat oil in large saucepan. Add chopped celery and onion; cook, stirring until softened and almost translucent. Stir in garlic. Cook about 2 minutes. Add wild rice, stir. Add broth, 1 tsp. salt. And 1½ C. water. Increase heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Uncover and stir, and continue cooking uncovered until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 20-40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread pecans on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast about 5 minutes. Let cool and chop coarsely.
Let stuffing cool, cover and chill. Rewarm over medium heat, adding water by tablespoonfuls if too dry.
Stir in dried cranberries, apricots and raisins. Let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
Season rice to taste. Fold in pecans, sliced cranberries and sliced celery. Garnish with celery leaves. (Don’t necessarily have to let stuffing cool before adding pecans, fruit and celery.)
2 C. fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries
1 C. maple syrup
¼ C. fresh orange juice
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Finely grate zest from orange and set aside. Cut off peel and white pith from orange. Cut between membranes to release segments.
Combine zest, cranberries, syrup, juice and vanilla in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until cranberries have burst and sauce has thickened, about 7 minutes. Chill.
Gently stir orange segments into compote. Can be made ahead. Cover and chill. Serve at room temperature. (Can use mandarin oranges if you don’t want to cut up orange segments.)
CANNELLINI BEANS WITH SPINACH
1¼ C. cannellini beans, rinsed
1 head garlic, split and sliced PLUS 2 Tbsp. crushed garlic
6 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 bunches spinach, trimmed
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Bring beans, sliced garlic, 6 Tbsp. oil and 6 C. water to a boil in large saucepan. Cook about 20 minutes or so, keeping skins intact. Let cool.
Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in another pan. Cook crushed garlic and red pepper flakes until garlic is golden. Working in batches, add spinach, letting it wilt slightly before adding more, about 5 minutes. Season to taste.
Transfer beans to skillet with spinach using a slotted spoon. Cook through, gently tossing so beans are warm. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and ¼ C. bean cooking liquid for tossing. Mixture should be saucy, but not covered. Serve with drizzled olive oil.
RAVIOLI AND VEGETABLE SOUP
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 medium carrots, halved and sliced
3 stalks of celery, sliced
2 C. low sodium vegetable broth
1 9-oz. pkg. small cheese ravioli
5 C. chopped spinach
3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in large pot. Add onion, carrots and celery, and cook until vegetables begin to soften. Add the broth and 3 C. water. Increase heat, cover and bring to boil. Add ravioli. Reduce heat and simmer until ravioli are tender.
Add spinach to soup and cook until wilted. Season to taste. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and enjoy with crusty bread. E-Z-P-Z! Serves 4.