Spinach and Oyster Dressing
- Yield: 12 to 16 servings
"This recipe has been a part of every holiday gathering in my family for many, many years. It is always the most popular dish, and whenever I make it, I never fail to have many requests for the recipe. It's definitely one of my most prized recipes."
- 12cups French or Italian bread, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes
- 1/2pound pancetta or bacon, chopped
- 2tablespoons olive oil
- 2cups finely chopped onion
- 1/2cup thinly sliced leeks
- 1 1/2cups thinly sliced celery
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 1/2cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 1tablespoon chopped fresh sage, or 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
- 1tablespoon minced garlic (about 6 medium cloves)
- 1/2teaspoon salt
- 1teaspoon black pepper
- 2 1/2cups chicken or turkey broth
- 1 (10-ounce) container shucked oysters, drained
- Arrange bread cubes on sheets of wax paper or foil in a single layer and let dry overnight. (Or place cubes on foil-lined oven racks and bake in a 325F oven 25 minutes, or until golden.)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and cook until crisp. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels.
- Add olive oil to pan drippings. Stir in onion, leeks and celery. Reduce heat to medium and cook until celery is tender, about 7 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Combine bread cubes, pancetta, onion mixture, spinach, butter, sage, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss until well blended. Stir in broth and fold in oysters. Spoon mixture into pan.
- Bake, covered with foil, 30 minutes, until thoroughly heated. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes longer, or until lightly golden.
Recipe by Robin Spires, Tampa, Fla.