I love the concept of stuffing; it’s a blank slate waiting to be painted in flavors that depict who you are. Green olives are my ode to California, while the chouriço, saffron, and vinegar speak for the India I grew up in.
Reprinted from The Flavor Equation by Nik Sharma with permission by Chronicle Books, 2020. —Food52
- Prep time 45 minutes
- Cook time 2 hours 15 minutes
- Serves 8 to 10
(455 grams) ciabatta or sourdough bread
(110 grams) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
leek (10 1/2 ounces / 300 grams), ends trimmed and thinly sliced
(85 grams) dried tart cherries
(60 grams) walnut halves
large eggs, lightly whisked
chopped cilantro, for garnish
chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 200°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut or tear the bread into 1/2-inch cubes, spread them out in a single layer on the baking sheet, and dry in the oven, about 1 hour. Remove and let cool completely. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Increase the oven heat to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 9x13x2-in (23x33x5-cm) ceramic or glass baking dish with a little butter.
- Add the apples, cherries, and walnuts and sauté until the cherries get plump, 1 minute. Add the vinegar and remove from the heat. Gently fold in the olives, followed by the dried bread. Season with salt. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, whisk 1 cup (240 ml) of the stock with the eggs, then whisk in the remaining stock. Pour the liquid over the bread mixture in the baking dish and fold in gently to distribute. At this stage, you can let the baking dish sit for 30 minutes before baking, or cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to bake the stuffing, discard the plastic wrap. If chilled, leave the baking dish out on the kitchen counter to warm to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Cover the baking dish snugly with a sheet of aluminum foil to form a tight seal and bake for 40 minutes. Lower the heat to 300°F [149°C], remove the foil, and continue to bake, uncovered, until the top is golden brown and crispy and the liquid has completely evaporated, 20 to 30 minutes. A skewer or knife inserted into the center should come out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro and parsley and serve warm.