Our vegetarian friendly homemade stuffingNovember 16, 2015
We’re helping you get a jump on Christmas this year with this delicious homemade stuffing recipe, fit for a king.
On a day when everyone whims need to be catered to, from Nan’s penchant for the traditional to your sister’s often neglected vegetarian requirements, cooking stuffing as a separate dish rather than stuffed into whatever the centrepiece of your roast dinner might be is a smart move. By using vegetable stock, this stuffing will satisfy vegetarians and meat eaters alike (you could even use a vegan butter substitute to really please everyone).
The centrepiece and depth of flavour comes from slices of beautiful roast lemon. For this recipe, we recommend Meyer lemons. Meyer lemons are actually a cross between a mandarin and a regular lemon, originally cultivated in China. The result is a smaller and sweeter lemon than other varieties. Meyer lemons also have a fragrance that is slightly more complex than their citrusy cousins, a spiciness that makes them perfect for Christmas related culinary expeditions.
Make sure you set aside the cubes of bread the night before so they’re nice and stale when it comes to cooking the stuffing. The older the bread, the better! Your local bakery may even have a super cheap sale at the end of the day for loaves they weren’t able to sell. Hang around like a keen seagull at closing time and you should be able to pick up a beautiful hunk of wholegrain or sourdough bread for a fraction of the price – delicious stuffing, here we come!
Celery and Parsnip Stuffing with Roasted Lemons
- 1 small loaf wholegrain or sourdough bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 large brown onion, chopped
- 8 sticks celery, trimmed and roughly chopped, leaves reserved for garnish
- 1 1/4 cups vegetable or chicken stock (we prefer homemade or low sodium )
- 2 cups sage (a large handful), roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons rosemary (2 sprigs), roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon thyme (about 2 springs)
- 1 lemon, zested and 2 tablespoons of juice (Use a small, sweeter lemon, preferably a Meyer lemon for this)
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika powder
- salt and pepper
For the roasted lemon slices
- 1 Meyer lemon, cut into thin slices (or another small, sweeter variety of lemon if you can’t find Meyers)
- 1/2 teaspoon or so of extra virgin olive oil (enough to drizzle over all the lemon)
- The night before, cut the bread into cubes and spread out on a cookie sheet. If possible, leave bread out overnight or bake at 65°C for an hour until bread is crunchy stale, but not hard or browned at all.
- The next day, preheat the oven to 175°C. Butter a 9 x 9-inch baking pan and set aside.
- In a very large, deep skillet or oven proof cat iron pan, melt 5 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onions and celery and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the parsnips and a generous sprinkle of sea salt, edge heat to medium-high (hot, but not enough that the butter is smoking) and cook 10 minutes longer, until pieces are tender and lightly browned on the edges. Pour in a splash of stock and scrape up any brown bits. Then add remaining stock, bring mixture to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn heat off and stir in bread, herbs, and Meyer lemon zest and juice. Add chili powder, and sea salt and black pepper to taste.
- Spoon into prepared baking pan, dot with remaining tablespoon butter, and slide into oven and bake for 35 – 45 minutes, or until the top of the stuffing is a rich golden brown and stuffing is piping hot.
- Before serving, tuck slices of roasted Meyer lemon (recipe just below) throughout, and garnish with minced celery leaves, parsley, sage, and thyme leaves.
Stuffing is a completely non-negotiable part of my family’s Christmas dinner. What can’t you live without on December 25th? Let us know in the comments!