[ Recipe: Rye Stuffing ] ~ from Monterey Bay Spice Co
rye stufffing with wild rice, sausage, apple and dried cherries
an elegant side dish

After making an elegant entrance to the holiday table as a side dish, this flavorful stuffing is equally impressive when it tops leftover turkey in a sandwich! For extra flavor and crunch, stir a handful of chopped pecans into the stuffing just before serving.

8 ounces wild rice (1 ¼ cups)
4 cups cubed rye bread
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
2 medium white onions, chopped
2 tart apples, chopped
1 cup sliced celery
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup dried cherries
1 ½ tablespoons fresh marjoram, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried marjoram)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 325° Fahrenheit.

Pour the rice into a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover by about 1 1/2 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 60 minutes, or until tender. Drain rice well.

Spread bread cubes on a baking sheet. Bake about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until toasted. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onion over medium heat until the onion is soft and the sausage is browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in apples and celery; cook for 3 minutes more. Raise oven temperature to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a 4-quart baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the sausage mixture, rice and toasted bread. Stir in broth, cherries, marjoram, thyme and salt and pepper. Transfer to the greased baking dish and cover with a lid or foil.

Bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned.