Vegetarian Bread Stuffing w/Figs, Olives,Nuts, Olive Oil & Ouzo
Here's one of my favorite stuffing recipes, totally vegetarian and baked separately. The combination of dried fruits, olives, nuts, orange and ouzo is very Greek. Try some of the country's most celebrated reds, too. To find some of the artisinal Greek products you'll need to make this, visit my online shop here, where you'll discover a host of lovingly curated Greek ingredients.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin Greek olive oil
- 3 leeks trimmed, washed and chopped
- 1 red onion chopped
- 4 garlic cloves chopped
- 10 cups plain croutons
- 1 bunch fresh oregano leaves only
- 1 bunch fresh thyme leaves only
- Grated zest of 2 oranges
- Strained fresh juice of two oranges
- 1 ½ cups coarsely chopped dried Greek or California figs
- 1 cup Greek raisins
- 1 ½ cups chopped walnuts
- 2 cups cooked peeled chestnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup pitted chopped Greek green or Kalamata olives
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2/3 cup ouzo
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock or more, as needed
Preheat the oven to 375F / 200 C.
Heat the olive oil over medium flame in a large, deep skillet and cook the leeks, onions, and fennel until soft, about 12 minutes. Stir in the garlic. Remove from heat.
Transfer the croutons and leek mixture to a large mixing bowl. Toss with the herbs, zest, figs, raisins, walnuts, chestnuts and olives. Sprinkle with ouzo and orange juice, and toss to dampen. Season generously with salt and pepper. Toss with the stock.
Oil a large ceramic or ovenproof glass baking dish and transfer the stuffing to that. Place inside a larger pan and fill halfway with water. Cover the stuffing with parchment and then with aluminum foil, securing the edges. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and parchment and continue baking until the stuffing is nicely browned on top. Remove, cool slightly and serve.