Cooktop Stuffing with Tuscan Kale, Fennel, and Herbs

 

This is my elevated version of the classic boxed stuffing mix. It’s inspired by Suzanne Goin’s Kale Dressing in Bon Appetit, which is a two-part recipe that has you slow-cook kale, then use it as the base of a traditional dressing that you bake in the oven. It's a beauty, but it's a time-intensive one. Stuffing definitely warrants a place on the table more than once a year, so I decided to make a streamlined version of it that can be prepared on the cooktop. It presented a fun challenge of figuring out how to adapt the cooking techniques; in the end, I was able to simplify the dish into a one-pot affair. Aside from toasting your bread, which can be done well in advance, and a little bit of chopping, this version is nearly as simple as making the boxed variety -- and infinitely more delicious.

What you will need

½ loaf of ciabatta, cut into ¼ to ½ cubes (8 level cups total)

3 T olive oil

1 dried chile de árbol

¼ tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed

½ cup minced fennel from 1 small bulb

½ cup minced onion from 1 small onion

1 T finely minced fresh thyme leaves

1 tsp finely minced fresh rosemary

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch Tuscan kale (about ½ pound), washed, stems and center ribs removed, and leaves torn into 1” pieces, about 5 cups

2 cups vegetable stock

1/4 cup dried cranberries or tart cherries (optional)

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