Crunchy, soft, savoury and sweet - all at the same time.
500g crusty bread, torn apart
2 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, sliced
2 celery sticks, finely diced
500g mushrooms, finely diced
4 tbsp thyme, chopped
3 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 apple, finely diced
60g walnuts, chopped
4 tbsp plant based butter, melted
300ml vegetable stock
Preheat your oven to 120˚C. Spread the bread chunks on a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the outsides have dried but the chunks can still be pressed into. Remove the tray from the oven and raise the heat to 180˚C.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan (we used a cast iron skillet) over medium heat and add in the leeks and celery. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until they are translucent and starting to caramelise. Add the mushrooms and let cook, untouched, for 6-8 minutes, after which you can stir and add the thyme, sage and salt. Cook for another 8-10 minutes, until some of the mushrooms have crisped up.
Remove the pan/skillet from heat and add the bread to the skillet and stir to combine, until the sautéed veg is evenly distributed amongst the bread chunks. Add the diced apple, walnuts, melted butter and stock and gently mix together to combine. If you're using a cast iron skillet, then you can bake the stuffing directly in that. If not, transfer the mixture onto a large buttered baking dish.
Cove the baking dish or skillet with foil and bake covered for 25 minutes. Uncover the baking dish/skillet and let roast for another 20-25 minutes. Baking it in two stages (one covered and one uncovered) makes the interior of every bite soft and the exterior crunchy - don't skip this! Remove from oven, let cool for 10 minutes and tuck in!