This is a traditional sage bread dressing or stuffing enhanced with sautéed mushrooms and crunchy water chestnuts. Begin this recipe a day ahead of time to allow the bread to sufficiently dry.
• 1 loaf (about 16 oz.) white or whole grain bread
• 2 T vegetable oil
• 1 medium onion, diced
• 2 ribs celery, diced
• 1 can (8 oz. with liquid) whole water chestnuts, drained and cut in half
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely minced
• 1 T dry rubbed sage
• 1 tsp dried thyme
• ½ tsp sea salt or kosher salt
• ½ tsp coarse ground black pepper
• ¼ cup (4 T) Better Butter (from this blog under “Miscellaneous Recipes”) or vegan margarine
• 12 oz. (3/4 lb.) cremini (baby portabellas); white mushrooms or a blend of mushrooms of your choice, cut into quarters or bite-size pieces
• ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
• 1 cup turk’y simmering broth (from preparing the Roast Brest of Turk’y in this blog; or vegan chik’n, mushroom or vegetable broth
To dry the bread: Preheat the oven to 200°F. Cut the bread into ½-inch cubes and place in a single layer on 1 or 2 baking sheets. Place in the oven for 1 to 1 and ½ hours or until the bread is dry to the touch – a very slight degree of moistness is okay. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and let sit out overnight.
When ready to prepare the dressing, preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a large, shallow baking dish with butter or margarine and set aside.
In a large skillet, add the oil and place over medium heat. Add the onions and celery and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the water chestnuts, garlic, sage, thyme, salt and pepper and continue to sauté an additional minute. Transfer to the mixing bowl.
In the same skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter or margarine over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until golden brown. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter or margarine and stir just until melted. Transfer to the mixing bowl, add the parsley and toss all of the ingredients together thoroughly.
Drizzle in half of the broth and toss thoroughly. Drizzle in the remaining half and toss until the dressing is evenly moistened. Transfer to the baking dish and bake uncovered for 45 minutes or until a nice golden crust forms on top. Serve warm.