I’m not sure how long stuffing has been part of holiday dinners, but I’m sure glad someone came up with the idea. I love stuffing. I love all the varieties that people have thought of and I love the fact that there’s always lots of leftovers. Stuffing, the next day, may very well be better than stuffing the day of.
This recipe is another one that Laura found online. She did a wonderful job of locating everything we’d need for the perfect holiday season. I’ve already shared the recipes for the Spiced Eggnog Pancakes with Sweet Cranberry Syrup and the Italian Roasted Mushrooms & Veggies, so I figured I should keep going with this awesome apple and walnut stuffing recipe.
Here’s the deal with this – I used regular sandwich bread as the primary ingredient. I can well imagine that I could have gotten a lot more creative and used a more robust bread type. Perhaps even something that has whole grains or something that was artisanal. I’m sure that would have really taken this side dish over the top. That being said, the bread I used was great. I pulled it apart rather than cutting it because I wanted a rustic look to the final product. After the fact, I think I made a good choice there. The pieces can be seen in the casserole and they’re random as opposed to obviously cut. You can do it either way.
This is a serious stuffing recipe. It uses apples. garlic, walnuts, herbs, broth and butter. I would put this up against any other recipe in the same class. It offered an interesting texture and some great flavors when it was finished. We’ll definitely be making this one again.
Serves: 8 to 10
Regular Olive Oil
1 Large Sweet Onion, Chopped
2 Granny Smith Apples, Cut Into 1/2 Inch Pieces
1 Cup Celery, Chopped
2 Teaspoons Garlic, Minced
1 Cup Walnuts, Toasted
1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped
2 Teaspoons Dried Sage
2 Teaspoons Dried Thyme
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
12 Cups Bread, Broken Apart or Cubed
2 1/2 Cups Vegetable Broth
1/4 Cup Melted Butter
Parsley For Garnish (Optional)
I’d like to thank Marian Cooper Cairns and Mary Allen Perry from Woman’s Day for this recipe. They did a great job putting it together and sharing it. That’s much appreciated.
Warm your oven to 350 degrees. Place one of the racks on the center position.
Dry Out Bread
If you bought fresh bread, go ahead and either cut it into cubes or tear it apart into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Then, spread those pieces out on a large baking sheet. Add the sheet to the oven for about 30 minutes or until you can feel that the bread is thoroughly dried out. Make sure it’s not still flexible by running your fingers through the pieces.
When it’s finished, remove the tray from the oven.
Just an FYI – I used one large loaf of normal sandwich bread. I thought there was more bread in the bag because it looked so big, but once I pulled it all apart, I realized it actually wasn’t that much. Plan accordingly.
Warm a large heavy skillet over medium heat. When it’s to temperature, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and then add the onion. Cook the onion, while stirring, for about 5 minutes or until you see the onion begin to brown. Then, add in the apples, celery and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.
Next, mix in the walnuts, chopped parsley, sage, thyme, salt and pepper.
Finally, transfer all the ingredients from the skillet into a large bowl and turn the heat for the skillet off.
Add Bread, Broth & Mix
Next, add the bread to the bowl, followed by the broth. Mix until you don’t see anymore dried bread.
Add Mixture to Casserole
Grease a 8×13 inch casserole. I used more olive oil to do this. Then, transfer the stuffing mixture to the casserole, making sure it’s flat. After that, brush the melted butter evenly across the entire mixture.
Bake the Stuffing
Add the casserole to the oven and let everything bake for about 45 minutes or until you see the top begin to brown. When it does, remove the stuffing from the oven and turn off heat. Garnish with parsley if you wish. Then, with a large spoon, scoop some stuffing out and serve.
The Final Stuffing
Again, this is a really great recipe. The stuffing comes out moist and I can’t say enough good things about the texture of the bread and the walnuts. There are a few ingredients here that truly make a difference. Enjoy!