Adapted from NY Times
1 (1-pound) loaf whole wheat sourdough bread
several heavy splashes of olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casing removed (optional)
2 cups diced onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ sprig rosemary
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1 large Sweet Potato, diced
1 pound lacinato kale (also known as Tuscan kale or cavolo nero), about 2 large or 3 small bunches, tough rib stems removed and roughly chopped)
3 ounces dates (about 16),cut in quarters
1/2 cup sherry or dry white wine
2 cups of Progresso no sodium chicken stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup roughly chopped toasted almonds
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the crust off the bread and tear remaining loaf into 1-inch croutons. Place torn bread on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, squeezing and tossing bread with your hands to help it absorb the oil. Transfer to oven and toast, tossing once or twice, until croutons are golden brown and crispy on the outside but still a little soft and tender inside, 12 to 15 minutes. When croutons have cooled, place them in a large bowl.
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and crumble sausage into pan. Sauté, breaking up sausage with a wooden spoon, until browned and just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer sausage to the bowl with the croutons using a slotted spoon.
Return the pot to medium heat and add 1 splash of olive oil to any fat that has accumulated in the pot (or 2 splashes if not using sausage), then add onions, garlic, rosemary sprig, and thyme. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Cook over medium heat until onion begins to brown then add sweet potato and continue cooking another 6 to 8 minutes, stirring often.
Add half the kale and another splash of olive oil to the pan. Use tongs to turn the greens to coat them in oil and help them wilt and cook down. When there is room in the pan (from the greens wilting), add the rest of the kale. As soon as all the kale has wilted, transfer mixture to the bowl with the croutons and sausage. Add dates and stir well to combine.
Return pot to stove over high heat and carefully pour in sherry. Boil until sherry (or wine) is reduced by three-quarters, then add stock. Boil until mixture is reduced by half, then swirl in butter until melted.
Pour hot liquid over crouton-kale mixture. Add almonds and toss well to combine; using tongs or your hands, squeeze and massage the stuffing to integrate the flavors and make sure bread has really soaked in all the liquid.
Transfer stuffing to a ceramic baking dish or casserole. Cover and bake 15 minutes in the 400-degree oven. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 more minutes, or until top is golden and crisp.