I developed this recipe to take the place of a traditional stuffing (although I made a cornbread dressing as well for our Thanksgiving table). As it turned out, this was a huge hit, and we ended up with very little left. It’s a keeper. Measurements for me are not an exact science – over the years I have just developed an eye for what seems right. I do fail sometimes, but most of the time, it just works. Don’t be too tied to following recipes exactly – it’s fun to develop your own style!
2 small/medium eggplant
1 head cauliflower
3 medium yellow onions
3 stalks celery
1 large bell pepper (we used an orange bell which added nice color)
4 slices thick sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup chicken or turkey stock (we used the stock made from cooking the turkey giblets)
Poultry seasoning, Sage, Salt & Pepper to taste
Optionally, for a main dish, I think you could easily add a couple cups of chopped chicken/turkey and for a bit of crunch, some water chestnuts would be great.
Peel and cube eggplant. Place in large strainer, lightly salt and let drain for a couple hours (mine drained out about 3/4 cup liquid – so this really does help).
While eggplant is weeping, cut up your onions and celery and saute in a tablespoon of oil until nearly transparent. Easiest way is to keep heat at medium-low with lid on and stir occasionally.
Next, wash cauliflower, cut into chunks, and then “rice” them by placing in blender or VitaMix and pulsing until you get little bits. Once that’s done, put the cauliflower into a glass container with a tablespoon of water and “steam” in the microwave for about six minutes. (This could be done on the stovetop, but you’ll have to really keep it stirred. Microwaving gives fairly uniform tenderness to the cauliflower bits)
Once your eggplant is done “weeping”, put it into a large freezer bag or plastic container with your choice of GF flours and shake ’em up to dredge. (I used brown rice flour and arrowroot – about 1/2 cup total). Once your eggplant is coated, pan fry in a little coconut oil – I used about a half cup and poured off the excess which came our crystal clear and clean – used for other Thanksgiving dishes to grease pans/saute veggies.
Mix all ingredients together, taste for seasoning, and then put into greased casserole dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees. Top with Mozarella cheese and return to oven for five minutes or so until golden and bubbly.
Note: This stuffing was such a hit on Thanksgiving, there was very little left – while the cornbread dressing I had at least half the pan remaining. For our “Black Friday” lunch we mixed this with our cornbread dressing, added more chicken stock and rebaked and it really elevated the cornbread dressing to something special. We’re all about “repurposing” our leftovers so they don’t seem stale.