If you're tired of the same old stuffing but still want the familiar flavors, try a panade this year. Stuffing's European ancestor, panade (from the Italian pane and or French pain meaning "bread") is a layered casserole that is a moist, tasty and exciting spin on classic turkey dressing. Think French onion soup, with more bread, less soup and additional vegetables.
Panade begins with standard stuffing ingredients—good-quality bread, ample onions, fresh herbs and broth—then elaborates with layers of cooked seasonal vegetables, such as spinach, mushrooms and butternut squash. Enriched with cheese, the panade puffs up during baking into a scene-stealing dish. It is sure to thrill everyone, especially any vegetarians at your holiday table. Flexible and patient, panade is ideal for the holiday given hectic kitchen schedules and oven space limitations.
Prepare it up to a day in advance or, once baked, hold it covered with foil in or near a warm oven for an hour. If you like, you may prepare panades in individual ramekins. Decrease the uncovered baking times by about 15 minutes.
—Story and recipes by Lynne Sampson Curry