The best holiday stuffing

This stuffing is amazing, seasonal flavorful and comforting. I know, it’s a lot to claim but it really is excellent. Better yet, it can be assembled the day before and then heated in the oven 45 minutes before your meal. It is vegetarian friendly without raising an eyebrow from any meat-eaters. It screams Fall and has that comforting holiday food flavor while adding something a little bit different to your table.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium-sized Butternut Squash roasted with bay leaf
3/4 pound Cremini Mushrooms
3 Leeks, white part only
1 day old Baguette cut or torn into cubes
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks)  Butter
1 handful roughly chopped Lemon Thyme
1 handful roughly chopped Sage
Salt and Pepper
Stock either chicken or vegetable
1.5 cups uncooked Wild Rice
1 clove Garlic smashed

1) Cut the squash into 3/4 inch cubes, toss with 3 tablespoons of butter, salt and pepper and roast in a 350 degree oven until cooked through but not mushy. (just keep on eating sample tastes until you think it’s there)

2)  Cook the rice with the clove of smashed garlic using a 1:3 ratio of rice to water. So for this recipe of 1.5 cups rice use 4.5 cups water  and cook until done and reserve.
3) Clean your leeks by cutting through the middle of the stalk and running cold water through the cut, making sure to really get water through each layer as there is often a lot of dirt stuck in them
4) Slice leeks into thin (but not perfect) disks

5) Cut cremini mushrooms into quarters and reserve
6) Melt 1/4 cup of butter (1/2 stick) into pan and add the thyme and sage and cook for 1 minute
7)  Add in leeks and cook until wilted and slightly translucent
8 ) Add in mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are tender
9) Season with salt and pepper to taste

now the assembly part!

10 )  Get a giant bowl and everything together (i.e., the roasted squash, the mushrooms, the rice, the hand torn baguette)

11) This is where you have to eyeball it a bit…add enough stock so that the mixture holds together ever so slightly
12) Put the mixture into a buttered 9/13 inch baking tray and dot the top generously with the remaining butter and reserve or put it straight in the oven!

If you are cooking it once cooled put it in the oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes, otherwise, cook it for 20 minutes at 375

….and ENJOY!

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