Here's a stuffing that is suitable for vegetarians, that can be cooked separately to any meats as part of a festive feast.
60g (generous 2 oz) dried apricots, soaked overnight in warm water 50g (about 2 oz) butter 2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped 8 stalks celery, scrubbed and very thinly sliced 150g (about 5 oz) fresh walnuts, coarsely chopped 1¾ cups fresh breadcrumbs 1 small (size 6) free-range egg, lightly beaten 1 Tbsp finely chopped parsley 2 Tbsp finely chopped lemon thyme (if not available, increase parsley to 2 Tbsp and add a little grated lemon rind) ¾ tsp salt Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 Drain the apricots and chop roughly.
2 Gently melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan, then add the onion and 1 tablespoon of water. Cover pan with a lid and cook gently until soft. Add the celery, apricots and walnuts, increase heat to medium-high and cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Turn mixture into a bowl and cool. Mix in the breadcrumbs, beaten egg, parsley, lemon thyme, salt and pepper.
3 The stuffing may be used immediately (presuming it is cool) or prepared up to a day in advance (store refrigerated). Use to stuff the breast of a turkey, or a chicken, for roasting. Alternatively, shape into small balls and cook separately. Heat a small amount of oil in a shallow, ovenproof dish. Add the balls and cook for about 20 minutes, turning once or twice until lightly golden (keep an eye on them because they can burn if the oven is too hot). Remove from the dish with a slotted spoon and drain briefly before serving.