Roasted Chestnut and Persimmon Stuffing

Stuffing is easily the highlight of most Holiday dinners. It’s what turns Sunday dinner in to a Holiday feast and there are about the same amount of people who eat it that there are ways of making it.

Here, I’ve combined a few of my favourites with a little seasonal flare, creating something scrumptious, festive and memorable.

What would be lovely on it’s own, shuffled up beside stewed cranberries, I originally thought I would stuff red onions. Upon a quick search, I found that the beautiful site, Smitten Kitchen had already done just that but with much different stuffing. Having a surplus of onions and one lonely pumpkin still left from Halloween, I decided to march forward and give you all one more pumpkin dish.

Naturally the stuffing can be baked up on it’s own, or in any other found cavity, but I really liked the moisture and the sweetness of this little pie pumpkin. It really complemented the dried persimmons and roasted chestnuts headlining the dressing.

…And I still had a little left over for a few onions after all.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Thank you for all your kind words and encouragement.
Enjoy the day, your friends, family and your dinner.


1/3 Cup Brown Rice
3 T Wild Rice
1 Cup Water
1/2 teaspoon Salt

10 Chestnuts, roasted and roughly chopped
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Margarine
1 Red Onion, finely diced
2 Stalks of Celery, finely diced
1/3 Cup Dried Persimmons, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon Salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon Fresh Black Pepper 0r to taste
10 Fresh Sage Leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Rosemary, finely chopped
1 1/2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme Leaves, chopped
3 Cups Whole Grain Bread, day old, cubed
1 1/2 Cups Vegetable stock
1 Pie Pumpkin, 2 – 3 pounds

In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a near boil, add the rice and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Once the water begins to boil, cover the pan and reduce the heat to low and let it sit for 15 – 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Keeping the rice covered, turn off the heat and leave the pan for an additional 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, with a sharp paring knife, score the bottom of each chestnut with an “X”.
Dry roast over a cookie sheet for about 15 minutes, or until the chestnuts are opened and fragrant.
Twist the roasted chestnuts in a tea towel to loosen the skins and allow to cool.
Remove the top and clean the inside of the pumpkin, reserving seeds for another use, if desired.
Place the pumpkin upside down in a small roasting pan with enough water added to just cover the bottom.
Par-roast the pumpkin for 20 minutes at 350ºF.
In a large sauté pan, heat the oil then add the margarine.
Sauté the diced onions and celery until translucent; 3 – 5 minutes.
Cube the bread and add, tossing to coat and crisp all sides.
Peel and roughly chop the chestnuts as well as the dried persimmons and add to the bread mixture.
Follow with the chopped herbs, salt, pepper and stock stirring well to combine.
Adjust seasonings where and if necessary.
Fill the pumpkin, stuffing it as tightly as possible and cover it with aluminum foil.
Return it to the oven and continue to bake it at 350ºF for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 20-25 minutes or until the pumpkins is tender.
The dish may be served cut in wedges, otherwise the stuffing may be removed and the pumpkin scraped to be offered along side.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like to share at Thanksgiving. Quite frankly, it means there’s more to go around and it makes everyone feel good, of course.
Suganya, over at Tasty Palettes is doing just that. She’s been putting together a bit of a vegan recipe go to, perfect for vegans and non alike. Check it out, there’s sure to be quite a list to find something for dinner.

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I'm a chef, food stylist, cancer survivor, recipe developer, art director and photographer. My obsession for food, how it looks and makes me healthier has driven my passion for chronicling my journey through photos. Find more about me on: or my portfolio at:

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