I love stuffing. It’s a Thanksgiving staple and my recipe roster for this dish is strong. At least I thought it was until my brother-in-law hit me with “Can you bring the stuffing?… And make it vegetarian?” Sorry vegetarian friends, I love you but I must admit that from the other end of the phone I did the full eye roll into a back head tilt as I replied “Of course!” Don’t get me wrong, I love many vegetarian dishes but stuffing? Do you have any idea how many different kinds of meats, not to mention seafood, can go into stuffing and how incredible each and every one of them makes it taste?! I do love a challenge though, so the search began.

A simple solution would be to simply eliminate the meat, change the broth to vegetable. I kind of hate this conversion method though. To me the dishes just end up tasting like sad versions of themselves. I wanted something new and interesting that would stand alone as a great dish you wouldn’t dream of ruining with meat. Here’s what I came up with, a fabulous combination of recipes found online (this one being the main influence) that has now secured a spot on my “favorites” list…
 
AMAZING VEGETARIAN STUFFING
1/2 cup dried tart cherries
(1) 1-pound loaf wheat bread
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tsp chopped fresh sage
3 large garlic cloves, minced
6 tbsp unsalted butter
4 mini Portobello mushrooms, sliced thin
1 finely chopped yellow onion
3 celery ribs, sliced thin
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
2-1/2 cups vegetable broth, heated
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
Boil water, remove from heat and add cherries. Let the
cherries sit in the water for about 15 minutes.
Cut bread into small cubes and place in a large bowl.  Add oil, sage, and garlic then toss.
Spread out on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until toasted
then place the bread cubes back in the bowl.
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion,
celery and mushrooms and sauté until soft.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter your baking dish. Heat vegetable
broth.
Add vegetable mixture, cherries and hot broth to the bread
cubes and mix. Put the stuffing mix in your buttered baking dish a little at a
time, crumbling goat cheese between the layers. Cover with foil.
Bake until heated through, about 25 minutes. Uncover and bake
until top is crispy, about 25 minutes longer.
Enjoy!

 

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