Fregola Stuffing with Dried Fruit and Sage

This version of Thanksgiving stuffing uses the native Sardinian “pasta” called Fregola. This toasty larger grain cousin of couscous offers a pleasing blend of flavors, textures and colors, and, when combined with traditional stuffing seasonings, it has flavor to match but much less fat and more nutrients than traditional bread stuffing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 1/2 cups *Fregola
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock or canned, low-sodium broth (vegetable stock or broth may be substituted)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, minced or thinly sliced
1 medium carrot, peeled, diced
1 celery stalk, sliced thinly
1/3 cup mixed dried fruit (any combination of apricots, seedless raisins, currants, cranberries or prunes cut into small pieces)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ cup dry white wine
¼ cup grated Grana Padano or Parmesan
Salt and freshly grated pepper to season.

In a large pot, bring the stock or broth to a boil.  Add the salt and the fregola, stir and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid, then drain the cooked fregola into a colander.

While the fregola cooks, in a large non-stick skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the dried fruit, sage, coriander, and cumin; cook, stirring, another 1 to 2 minutes, then add the white wine, simmering until fully reduced. Now add  the fregola, stirring or tossing to combine. Add the reserved cooking broth, which will quickly come to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the Parmesan, and stir to combine.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Enjoy hot or let cool to stuff your turkey, Cornish hen or favorite “roulade”.

*Fergola is a semolina grain (resembling large couscous) that is a good source of protein and fiber.  It can be found in gourmet and Italian specialty markets.  In Italy, Fregola is used like barley is here, in soups and stews.  It is also served on its own, sauced like pasta.

Makes six servings.

Cool Sauce for a Hot Night

Gigi HV is very proud to be a sponsor of the Hudson Valley Engagement  cocktail party happening this weekend. The event, benefiting the Empire State Pride Agenda, will be taking place at the beautiful home of Harlan Bratcher and Toby Usnik in Upper Red Hook.

We’re even bringing our “Stuff It” truck to the benefit!  The “Stuff It” truck is mobile goodness in the form of a food truck. We load it up with healthy and delicious local ingredients and let you create your own perfect, customized “stuffed” pita sandwich.

You pick your pita, your protein, your sauce,  your veggies and you enjoy!

One of the favorite sauces to drizzle over your “Stuff it” pita is always our “Cool Avocado” sauce. It is actually a variation on a dressing I created for the Just Salad Chain.  I thought I would share the recipe with you. It is not only great on sandwiches. Toss it with fresh local salad greens or use to garnish or sauce seafood off the grill.

Enjoy!

-Laura

 

Cool Avocado Sauce:

Makes 2 cups

2 ripe California avocados (each about 1/2 pound)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice, or to taste
½ small red onion, roughly chopped
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp. low-fat mayonnasie
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
Tabasco to taste
1/8 to ¼ teaspoon cayenne (depending on desired heat)
small handful of cilantro or Italian parsley leaves
1/2 cup water, less if needed
Salt to season

Peel and pit the avocados, then cut into large pieces. In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients except for the water and salt. Pulse to combine. Add half of the water. With the motor running, add just enough additional water to achieve creamy “drizzle” consistency. Season with salt. Chill and serve.