I've been experimenting with various stuffing recipes for people who won't be stuffing a turkey this Thanksgiving. While I was at it, I thought I might as well make it gluten free, too.

I diced up my GF sandwich bread and toasted it in the oven for about 10 minutes or so, until it was golden. As long as the oven was hot, I figured, I might as well roast some eggplant too, so I sliced a small eggplant - in thick, half inch slices - and added a tray of them to the oven. Roasted eggplant gets soft (if covered) and acts as a binder (along with the bread) while adding a ton of flavor.

Then I sautéed a bunch of vegetables and threw them into a large mixing bowl, along with the bread and eggplant and added enough hot vegetable broth to soften the bread and mold the mix together.

And then I got fancy...

Not really, but I decided to bake them in muffin tins. It worked great - individual servings of stuffing. They may be cute, but so delicious (even cold) and satisfying that even a big, tough, burbly, bad boy will love them. Top them with my buckwheat gravy and you'll be thanking me at your dinner table.

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Ingredients (makes 12 servings)

  • 1 small eggplant, cut crosswise in 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut in a small dice (about the size of actual dice)
  • 8 ounces of crimini mushrooms, diced
  • 5 or 6 slices of GF sandwich bread, diced
  • 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, slivered
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup celery, sliced
  • 1/2 cup onions, sliced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth, hot
  • 1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
  • Season with salt and pepper

Instructions

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cut bread and place on a baking tray (sprayed or brushed with olive oil) and bake until toasted to a golden color (about 10 minutes).

Cut eggplant in thick (about 1/2-inch) slices, place on a baking tray (sprayed or brushed with olive oil). Cover loosely with foil and bake until soft (about 20 minutes).

When the bread and eggplant are cooked, place the bread in a large mixing bowl, give the eggplant a rough chop and add it too. Season with salt and pepper.

In the meantime heat a medium saute pan (about 9 - 12") over medium heat with about 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions, celery and potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes or until they begin to soften.

Add the mushrooms and cook for about another 5 minutes. Clear a spot on the pan and add the garlic and pepper flakes. Cook for a few moments, season and stir.

Add half the broth and the sun-dried tomatoes. Cook for a minute more to heat the broth and pour over the contents in the mixing bowl. Add the parsley and more broth if needed.

Spray or brush the muffin tin with olive oil, fill with the mixture. Make sure to give each a nice, rounded dome top (since they won't rise like muffins).

Bake for 20 minutes in a 350-degree oven.

Remove and cool for another 20 minutes or so before attempting to remove them from the pan. If you try to remove them while hot, they'll break apart. You can make these ahead of time if you like and then just warm them in the oven before serving. Top them with the gravy and they make the perfect accompaniment to the Thanksgiving (or anytime) table.

Gravy

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup vegetable broth

Directions:

In a small saucepan, heat oil over med/low heat. Add flour and stir with a whisk to make a paste. Cook and stir for a minute more.

Slowly add half the broth and stir. It will thicken. Add more broth — a bit at a time — until you reach your desired consistency.


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