Our Thanksgiving table would be incomplete without vegetarian bread stuffing / dressing. I usually serve it as a side dish so it's a great accompaniment to meat and a main course for the vegetarians in my home.
For this version, I was inspired by green ingredients such as asparagus, zucchini, celery, artichoke, kale, Castelvetrano green olives and Havarti cheese with dill. I used olive bread, a small white onion and homemade vegetable broth I prepared in advance and stored in the freezer for the upcoming holiday. Give this "green" and healthy recipe a try; it might bring a new kick to your Thanksgiving menu.
Servings: 6 servings
1 (16-ounce) loaf olive bread
½ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 white onion, thinly sliced
2½ cups vegetable stock
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
2½ cups baby kale leaves
2 cups baby asparagus spears, cut into 1½-inch pieces
½ cup celery, peeled and sliced
3 marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
4 tablespoons green olives (see tips), pitted and halved lengthwise
4 tablespoons Havarti cheese with dill, diced
3 tablespoons Italian parsley leaves, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cut the bread into about 1½-inch cubes. No need to cut off the crusts. Spread the bread cubes on a greased baking sheet. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss well.
Bake for about 6-8 minutes. Toss the croutons once half-way through the baking process. All sides should be slightly golden. Remove from the oven. Set aside to cool.
For the vegetables:
In a large pot, heat about 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onions. When the color is translucent, season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic. As the garlic becomes slightly golden, add the zucchini and 1 cup vegetable stock. Cook until softened (about 5-7 minutes). Add the asparagus and celery. Season with salt. Add the baby kale, artichokes and olives. Add ½ cup vegetable stock. Stir well until all the liquid is evaporated, about 2-3 minutes. If the mixture starts sticking to the bottom of the pan, add more vegetable stock . Transfer the vegetable mixture to a platter. Set aside.
At the last minute, add the remaining oil to the pot. Add the olive bread croutons. Add the remaining vegetable stock. Stir well. The entire mixture should be moist, but not mushy. Add the vegetable mixture. Adjust the seasoning. Add more salt (if necessary) and black pepper. Stir well. Cook for another minute. Turn off the heat, add the Havarti cheese and finish with parsley. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
Check out my other recipes, such as croutons, that recycle stale bread. You can also make bread crumbs for mac & cheese or garlic bread for soups and salads.
I used whole Castelvetrano green olives. They're firm in texture and unlike other olives, these are brined in salted water (not vinegar). They taste similar to extra-virgin olive oil.