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We are so thankful for another great season of the Market; and for our vendors who provide fresh, healthy, local food for the benefit of our community and our planet. To celebrate these blessings, I have teamed up with local food bloggers, Sonja and Alex Overhiser (A Couple Cooks) to bring you a delicious Thanksgiving menu inspired by the bounty to be found at the BRFM. Let’s start with my find for the foundation of any good Thanksgiving feast, whether it is vegetarian or turketarian — the stuffing!

Spinach, Fennel, and Sausage Stuffing with Toasted Brioche

adapted from a recipe by Susan Spungen for Bon Appetit

11.15 anna belle fennelIngredients:

  • 1 loaf brioche or challah (about 12 oz.), cut into 1′ cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more for dish
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, cored and coarsly chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 pounds spinach, coarsly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds 

Directions:

  1. Preheat to 350°. Scatter bread on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast until golden brown, tossing once, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely. DO AHEAD: Bread can be toasted 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, breaking up into smaller pieces with the back of a spoon, until browned and cooked through, 8–10 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate; let cool. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in the same skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and fennel and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 10–12 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 3-qt. shallow baking dish. Whisk eggs to blend in a large bowel; whisk in broth. Stir in sausage, the onion-fennel mixture, spinach, salt, pepper, and fennel seeds. Add bread; toss until evenly distributed and bread has absorbed the liquid. Transfer to prepared dish; dot with remaining 2 Tbsp butter.
  4. Bake until stuffing is hot and the top is golden brown, about 40 minutes.

Note: Brioche or Challah can be obtained from Amelia’s Bakery, Circle City Sweets, Cornerstone Bakery, Pastries Chefs, or Rene’s Bakery. Click here for our vendor list and then click on the vendor you are interested in to see their address and contact information.

This recipe can also be used to stuff a traditional turkey, or a rolled turkey breast. You can change out the meat or leave it out altogether; and fruits and other vegetables can be added or substituted to make it your own favorite blend. Now that’s what I call versatile!

And speaking of meatless, here are six fabulous recipes from A Couple Cooks to complete your feast. See their blog here, for more of their delectable dishes for Thanksgiving or any other day of the year.

Massaged Kale Salad with Apple and Pomegranate

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecorino and Pecans

Garlic and Chive Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Stuffed Delicata Squash with Wild Rice, Brown Butter and Sage

Pomegranate Cider Spritzer

Poached Pears with Pecan Granola and Whipped Cream