Traditional stuffing is another reason I can’t stand Thanksgiving foods. The onion and celery are just too overpowering for me, and it’s basically soggy, stale bread with nasty innards. Ironically, this classic side has grown on me ever since I became a vegetarian and started experimenting with stuffings/dressings like soyrizo cornbread dressing, which I need to revisit soon.
This year, I wanted to incorporate local ingredients from our farmers markets and harvest box programs, like El Paso True Food Buying Club. I found what I was for looking on the Epicurious site from the November 2009 Bon Appetit issue. The original recipe is Rustic Bread Stuffing with Red Mustard Greens, Currants, and Pine Nuts, but I’ve adapted it to make it easier, regional, and veg-friendly.
The following recipe utilizes mustard greens from La Semilla community farm over in Anthony and bread from local bakery, Belle Sucre who just opened a second location on the eastside. If you weren’t able to make it out to the farmers market this weekend or can’t find mustard greens at the store, any green like kale or collards will do. Stuffing recipes typically call for chicken or turkey stock, but if you use mushroom or vegetable broth, your vegetarian friends will be ever so grateful.
Have a happy Thanksgiving!
Stuffing with Mustard Greens and Pecans
Makes 6-8 servings
1 1-pound loaf rustic country-style bread, ie. anything from Belle Sucre Bakery (about 6 cups of cubed bread)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
1/3 cup pecans
1 large shallot, minced
1 bunch, coarsely chopped stemmed mustard greens
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (I sprinkled a little bit of dried thyme, but dried equivalent would be 1 teaspoon)
1½ cups your choice of broth (I used half a not-beef bouillon cube)
1/3 cup dried currants or cranberries (optional)
freshly ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut bread into ¾-inch cubes or desired size (I would’ve opted for smaller); place in a large bowl and toss with olive oil to coat. Spread bread cubes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until slightly golden and crunchy, stirring occasionally every 5-10 minutes (about 15 minutes for total cooking time). Set aside to cool.
You can either generously butter a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish or if you use a dutch oven to saute everything else, you can pop that straight into the oven; only problem is that you may have some stickage at the bottom since it won’t be greased.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy-bottomed large pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Saute shallots for a few minutes, add garlic and pecans; stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add mustard greens and thyme; sauté until greens are wilted and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the stock bring to a simmer if the stock isn’t already hot. Stir in bread cubes and berries (if using). Sprinkle a bit of freshly ground nutmeg if desired, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer directly to oven or transfer stuffing to the prepared baking dish.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover; chill.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake stuffing uncovered until heated through and starting to brown on top, 20 to 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes and serve.