This is the least stodgy stuffing I know: sweet, aromatic, almost a dish on its own. Dried mushrooms are expensive and not strictly necessary, but they do add to the flavour.
First put the dried mushrooms in a bowl with the hot water and soak for 2 hours or so. Then peel the ginger and garlic and chop them together finely. Chop the dried apricots fairly small. Peel the parsnips and chop them into small pieces.
Melt the butter with the olive oil over a medium heat in a large frying-pan. Add the parsnips and stir them around for 8-12 minutes until they are almost soft. Add the ginger and the garlic and stir for a minute. Increase the heat to high, add the chopped apricots and the mushrooms and their soaking liquid and allow to bubble, without stirring, for about 2 minutes until the liquid has been almost completely absorbed. Turn into a mixing bowl. Drain the chestnuts and cut them up roughly. Add them to the stuffing mixture, with the chopped walnuts, and mix gently together with a wooden spoon, seasoning generously with salt and
© 1978 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.