Sunday, November 27, 2011

Vegan Apple and Sage "Sausage" Dressing

This is SOOO good!  I made it last year using Field Roast brand Italian sausage and my SIL (not vegan) immediately commented on how good it was, "...and I don't even usually LIKE Italian sausage!"  I knew I had a keeper on my hands!  I've adapted it to suit our tastes (as usual) and this is the result.

1 small loaf of fresh bread (this year I used a rustic Italian bread from Whole Foods), cubed and dried in the oven
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/4 cup Earth Balance margarine
1/4 cup diced celery
1 large onion, diced
2-3 links of Field Roast brand sausage (this year I used the sage variety), broken apart with your hands rather than in neat slices
1 large crisp apple, peeled, cored, and diced in larger chunks - you don't want it to be as small as the onions and celery
2/3 cup roughly chopped hazelnuts
2 cups vegetable broth

Preheat oven to 350°.

Spray a large casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray or use an empty wrapper from your Earth Balance margarine.

In a large bowl, melt margarine over medium heat.  Add celery and saute' for a minute or two.  Add the onions and saute' until soft.  Add the sausage, apple, and nuts.  Continue sauteing until the onions are translucent, the apples are barely cooked, and the hazelnuts are lightly toasted.

Remove from heat and pour over the bread mixture.  Toss together.

Add about half of the broth and stir.  Keep adding broth until the whole mixture is moistened to the consistency you like.  I prefer mine a little on the drier side as opposed to mushy.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes, basting during the last 10 minutes with a little more broth to ensure a crispy top.

Serve with Mushroom Gravy.

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