I have been making stuffing, or dressing if that is your preferred name, for many, many years. It’s become a specialty of mine over time, and often requested at potlucks during this time of year. People always seem surprised to learn that it is possible to make good vegetarian and/or vegan stuffing. The “trick” to my version is to use lots and lots of veggies, and to cut them up into very small pieces. Small bits of vegies blend together nicely and every bite is a bit of a different taste sensation. Big chucks of veggies just sit in your mouth, brooding and alone. I also use a lot of spices. Additional, the bread should also be cubed into very small squares. This recipe is very forgiving. Put in your personal favorite veggies (but the onions and garlic are essential) and spices. Try different broths. I used mushroom broth this time because it was on sale, which tasted better to my budget.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 red onion Yes, an entire onion.
- About 10-12 cloves of garlic, or to taste, but don’t skimp
- 1 bunch of celery
- 8-10 mushrooms, or to taste
- 8-10 kale and/or chard leaves
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and 1-2 tablespoons of white wine, or to taste, for sautéing
- About 1 loaf of good whole wheat or seed bread, cubed and dried
- Rosemary, thyme, oregano, black pepper, cayenne, and of course, lots of sage
- (Sometimes I add about half cup of chopped nuts)
- About one half cup veggie broth, or as much as needed
Put pan on burner, add oil and turn on high enough to heat the oil. Dice the garlic and set aside. Thinly slice the red onion and add to hot pan, Stir and turn heat down to medium low. We are caramelizing the onions. Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Feel free to impress your friends, but all it really means is to cook the onions slowly until they turn soft and translucent, about 12 to 15 minutes. Now add the kale/card and celery and let cook about 5 minutes. Add wine and/or more oil when the pan starts drying out. Now add the mushrooms and garlic and the spices.
Continue sauteing the veggies until slightly cooked and still tender. They will cook more in the oven. Remove from heat. Now mix together in large bowl the dried bread crumbs and veggies. Stir. Add the veggie broth until slightly moistened. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Place in oiled casserole dish, cover with foil to keep it from drying out. Bake at 375 about half an hour. Remove and keep covered until serving time. This is really good with some mashed potatoes and gravy. Yummmm….