Let’s be honest: Turkey is nice, but the real point of Thanksgiving is the side dishes (and, you know, friends and family and giving of thanks and all that). On my table this year will be Brown Butter-Pumpkin Mac and Cheese, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic and Lemon, Balsamic Cranberry Sauce and this rich, savory bread pudding-like stuffing, featuring salty, crispy bacon, ripe persimmons, tart Granny Smith apples, crunchy almonds and all kinds of holiday love.
1 baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes
extra virgin olive oil
3 cups vegetable, chicken or turkey broth
3 strips thick-cut, uncured bacon, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red onion, diced
2 Granny Smith apples, cored and diced (leave the peel on)
1 Fuyu persimmon, diced
1 10-oz. box frozen spinach
6 fresh sage leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with olive oil and set aside.
Place the bread cubes in a bowl and toss with 1/8 cup olive oil until well-coated. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until crisp and golden-brown. Leave the oven on.
In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup of the broth and the eggs. Add the toasted bread cubes and allow to soak until ready to use.
Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat and fry the bacon until crisp and brown. Reduce heat to medium and add the garlic and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until onion is translucent, 2-3 minutes.
Add apples and persimmon to the pan and cook 2-3 minutes until apples soften. Add spinach and cook just until spinach has defrosted, 2-3 minutes.
Increase heat to medium-high and add the soaked bread cubes. Stir gently to incorporate.
Slowly add the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, until it has been absorbed (the stuffing will be very wet). Add the sage, salt and pepper to taste and almonds and stir very gently, so as not to break apart the bread cubes.
Scrape stuffing into prepared pan and bake for 55-65 minutes, or until the stuffing is firm and the top is crisp (the inside should stay moist).
BrokeAss Gourmet caters to folks who want to live the high life on the cheap, with delicious recipes that are always under $20. Gabi Moskowitz is the blog’s editor in chief and author of The BrokeAss Gourmet Cookbook and Pizza Dough: 100 Delicious Unexpected Recipes.