Sick of the same ol' sides? Vanessa has a great way to elevate this Thanksgiving staple.
• 1 lb. to 1½-lb. loaf Ciabatta
• ½ sweet yellow onion, finely diced
• 3 celery stalks, finely sliced
• 2 ½ cups Chicken broth
• 1 lb. ground sausage
• 1 lb. Gruyere cheese, shredded
• 2 tbs. fresh sage, finely chopped
• 1 ½ sticks butter
• Salt & pepper, to taste
Dry out the bread. Do this by cutting the loaf into ½- to 1-inch cubes and EITHER baking them on a sheet pan in the oven (300°F for 30 minutes), OR leaving the cubes on the counter overnight to dry out.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a pan on the stove top on medium heat, melt the butter and sauté the chopped onions and celery. Remove them from the pan and place them in a large mixing bowl when they are soft. The cooking process can take 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how finely you chop the veggies.
In that same pan, cook the sausage until it's completely browned. You might have to add a little oil or butter to the pan to keep the sausage from sticking. Add the sausage to the mixing bowl as well.
Add the dried bread cubes, plus 1 & ½ cups of the shredded Gruyere cheese (reserve the rest to top the dressing), chopped sage, and chicken broth to the bowl.
Season with salt and pepper to your liking, then mix everything together thoroughly (you want all the bread cubes to soak up the broth).
Move the dressing to a buttered baking dish, and cover with foil. (You might also want to butter the side of foil touching the dressing to keep it from sticking.)
Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Remove foil, top the dressing with the rest of cheese and bake uncovered for another 15 minutes, until the top is brown and slightly toasted.