We’re pretty traditional about stuffing in our family. Every year, we have eaten the same stuffing every Thanksgiving Day: onions and celery sautéed in butter, fresh sage (that’s a change. it used to be dried sage out of a spice bottle.), dried bread cubes, and a mix of chicken stock and eggs to bind it all up. Seven years ago, I switched the bread to gluten-free bread. I think my family is just now getting used to this.
So there’s probably no chance at all that this roasted lemon, fennel, and pine nut stuffing would be allowed at the table of our family celebration. Too over-the-top. Too unusual.
That’s why Danny made this for our little family today.
There’s something really wonderful about this stuffing. The lemons add a bite to the mellow tastes of bread and chicken stock. However, since they are roasted, the lemons have a certain sweetness as well. Fennel is one of my favorite flavors — green and crisp, with a hint of anise. And the pine nuts give something that stuffings rarely have: some crunch.
Here’s the good news. You can make any stuffing you want if you have to be gluten-free. Once you have toasted cubes of gluten-free bread in the oven, the rest of the stuffing recipe is the same as you have always made it. (And since most gluten-free breads are drier than traditional gluten bread, it doesn’t take long to toast them up!)
I may not be eating this stuffing with my family next Thursday. But it’s good to know I can still have it when I want, even without the gluten.
You can find more of Shauna and Danny’s recipes, essays, photographs and words of comfort about living gluten-free at Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. Shauna shares food ideas and answers questions on Twitter. She also pins photographs and recipes on Pinterest and Foodily. There’s a great community at the Facebook fan page for Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef.