As far as Thanksgiving sides go, I was
never a fan of stuffing. I mean, what’s the appeal? Aside from the
few crispy edges (if you were lucky), it always seemed to be a bland,
one-note dish that did not deserve a coveted place on my holiday plate.
But over the last few years, I’ve had
the opportunity to host a few of my own Thanksgivings, and I was not going to
serve up the same-old stuffing of my youth. No. I served up this stuffing!
This is about as far from that old
stuffing as you can get. Filled with apples, walnuts and dried cherries, this
stuffing is colorful and flavorful, with an irresistible combination of
textures and tastes.
And it is no more work than your grandma’s recipe. In fact,
it might be even easier, as you can prep it the day before! This is a dream for the
Thanksgiving hostess, taking one more task off your "day-of" list.
The secret, I’ve found, is to bypass
the fancy baguettes and sourdough loaves at the market and go straight for the
white bread. It is the perfect texture for the best stuffing, and it’s already sliced
Feel free to swap the apples for
pears, or the walnuts for your nut of choice. And make room on your
Thanksgiving plate—you're going to need it!
Apple, Walnut and Dried Cherry Stuffing
10 cups cubed white bread
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
2 onions, chopped
4 stalks celery, sliced
2 Granny Smith apples, diced
2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup walnut halves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Photos by Sheri Silver
1. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Spread the bread
cubes onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Remove from oven; let cool slightly. Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees;
grease a 9” x 13” baking dish and a piece of foil large enough to cover.
2. Melt the butter in a large skillet
over medium heat. Add the onions, celery and apples, and saute for 10 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
3. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add
the broth and whisk again. Add the bread cubes, sautéed vegetables, dried
cherries, walnuts and thyme; stir gently to combine. Season with salt and
pepper and transfer to your prepared dish. Cover with foil, greased side down,
and bake for 40 minutes. (This is the point at which to cool and refrigerate
overnight, if you're making it a day ahead.) Uncover and bake for another 40 minutes, or till browned and crisp. (If you made this the day before, add an additional 15 minutes to cooking time.)