Yolélé fonio, unlike some other brands, is light and fluffy. I think that makes it perfect for a Thanksgiving stuffing, when the table is groaning from a whole panoply of dishes and everyone’s plates are heaped high.
I first served this as a key player in a holiday menu featuring a tangy tamarind-glazed roast turkey, a salad of shredded collard greens and sweet potatoes, and creamed collard greens with peanut butter. This recipe uses peanuts for crunch, but feel free to substitute toasted pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, or cashews.
Fonio Thanksgiving Stuffing with Dates
(adapted from a recipe originally published in Saveur magazine in Fall, 2015)
1/4 cup red palm oil or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
5 oz. pitted Medjool dates, roughly chopped
1/2 cup roughly chopped unsalted roasted peanuts (or cashews, pumpkin seeds or pine nuts)
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 medium carrots, cut into 1⁄4-inch dice
1 cup Yolélé fonio
1.5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Heat the oven to 325°. In a medium saucepan, heat the palm oil over medium. Add the dates, 1⁄4 cup of the nuts or seeds, the cayenne, and the carrots and cook, stirring, until the carrots soften slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the fonio and stir until well-coated with oil and then pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and cook, without stirring, until the fonio absorbs all the stock, about 3 minutes
- Scrape the fonio into an 8-inch square baking dish greased with palm oil and smooth the top. Cover the dish with foil and bake until tender and warmed through, about 20 minutes. Uncover, fluff the fonio with a fork, and season with salt and pepper. Scrape the fonio into a serving bowl and sprinkle with the remaining nuts or seeds and the parsley before serving.