THIS ISN’T A RECIPE THAT subscribes to the “less is more” style—it starts with bread but adds sausage, vegetables, apple, abundant fresh herbs, dried cranberries, and a handful of crunchy seeds and hazelnuts for good measure. Feel free to pare it back a bit if you prefer, skipping the seeds or dried cranberries in favor of a somewhat simpler dish. If your goal is a vegetarian stuffing, it’s perfectly fine to skip the sausage or use a vegetarian sausage like Field Roast’s Italian links. Swiss chard has white stems, so its color won’t bleed into the rest of the dish; the color from red or rainbow chard stems will.
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1⁄4 cup unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
1 loaf day-old whole wheat bread, cut or torn into chunks
1 cup chopped yellow onion 1 cup chopped celery
1 large apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 cup chopped Swiss chard
8 ounces mild or hot fresh Italian sausage, crumbled and cooked
1⁄4 cup chopped raw hazelnuts
2 tablespoons sun ower seeds
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1⁄3 cup dried cranberries
3⁄4 cup to 1 cup hot chicken or turkey broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish or 9-by-13-inch baking dish and set aside.
2. Scatter the bread chunks on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly toasted, 4 to 6 minutes. Set aside.
3. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the onion, celery, apple, sage, rosemary, and parsley. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onion becomes soft and translucent. Remove from the heat and cover.
4. In a large heatproof bowl, put the toasted bread chunks and chard. Add the hot onion-apple mixture, sausage, hazelnuts, sun ower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and cranberries and toss with tongs or two big spoons to mix the ingredients well. Add enough broth to moisten the mixture and season generously with salt and pepper.
5. Spoon the stuffing into the prepared casserole dish, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes, until heated through. Carefully remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the stuffing is sizzling and golden on top.