The secret ingredient to this vegetarian cornbread dressing, cauliflower, not only boosts the nutrient levels of the dish but allows for use of less stock and/or other liquids.
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, my mind is conjuring up all kinds of stuffing recipes to try. I don’t know about your family, but in mine, Thanksgiving is all about the dressing/stuffing. For the holiday meal, we normally have 2 spreads (Korean and traditional American) that are totally non-related but somehow go well together. A couple of years back it was just us kids, so the Hungryman and I prepared the traditional feast for everyone. This year, my mom will be back from Korea just in time so we shall see if she wants to get in the kitchen ;). If not, I will once again be put in full control. I don’t mind it though. Because for my family, I will gladly slap on an apron and get messy in the kitchen. Anytime. Any day.
Now even if I roast the most gorgeous, moist turkey or bake up the meanest sweet potato casserole or green bean casserole, if the dressing is subpar, then I might as well have not made anything at all. Actually, sometimes I wonder why I even bother making the other dishes, as everyone would be perfectly happy with multiple dishes of dressing.
This year, one of the variations is going to be this vegetarian cauliflower cornbread dressing. Boy, are they in for a happy awakening ;). The idea for adding cauliflower actually came from the Hungryman! Here’s how the conversation went:
Me: My family LOVES sausage in their stuffing. I can’t leave it out..but then again I want to keep it on the light side.
Hungryman (after about an hour): Ooh how about shredding some cauliflower and seasoning it? Sure it won’t completely taste like ground sausage..well maybe not at all..but at least it’ll somewhat look like it! (all this coming from a carnivorous man)
Me: Hmm…I don’t know…(fast forward 30 minutes) That’s a brilliant idea! I’m actually going to pulse it in the food processor like you would make cauliflower rice. Not only is it a great way to sneak in a vegetable that not everyone’s really fond of, but it will add moisture which means I can use less stock (normally, I end up using at least 5 cups)!
So that’s how the idea for the recipe was born! We sure make a great team, don’t we? Mushrooms were added for some umami, and the corn kernels, just because I love the extra sweetness and texture they add. And fresh sage…I could just sniff a sprig all day long! You can make this ahead of time bc let’s face it, Thanksgiving day
can get quite hairy.
- 5 cups of 1 inch cubes of cornbread (can make your own or use premade)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups coarsely chopped cauliflower
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion
- 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup corn kernels (frozen or fresh)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt and pepper
- 1 cup low-sodium vegetable stock
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup buttermilk (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350. Spread cornbread evenly onto a baking sheet and bake, tossing occasionally, until dry but not hard, about 10-15 minutes. Cool. Set aside in a large mixing bowl. Butter 9×13 in. baking dish and set aside.
- Prepare cauliflower: Wash, remove core and leaves, chop into florets. Working in batches, pulse florets in a food processor or blender until the pieces are the size of a grain of rice (do not over-process!). Pour 2 cups in a large bowl and toss with poultry seasoning.
- Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onions, celery and sauté until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in corn, cauliflower, mushrooms, sage, and parsley. Sauté for another 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add mixture to bowl with cornbread. (make ahead: cover and refrigerate overnight).
- In another bowl, whisk together stock, eggs, and buttermilk. Pour over the dressing mixture and combine well. Pour into prepared baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes.