Squash & Celeriac Quinoa Stuffing
Thanksgiving is just under a month away, and we want to make this a memorable year. Its our first year being in Maine for the holiday in four years, and we're hosting dinner. With a handful of friends and family headed our way, its gonna be a day full of cooking, eating, and celebrating. This month I'll be making lots of Thanksgiving-themed recipes to get our table (and yours!) full and ready to impress.
And while this stuffing won't be getting stuffed into any Turkeys (or Tur-duck-en, or whatever is trendy this year), it will be stuffed into our hungry mouths, so we're gonna keep the name.
We started with a simple side dish, Quinoa Stuffing. Its made without bread and is gluten-free, making it a much lighter dish and more friendly to our wheat-free friends. The red quinoa adds a festive pop of color and the flavors of butternut squash and celeriac round out the rich, fall flavors.
You may be saying "But GIRL what the hell is celeriac?" about now-ish, and thats okay. Celeriac is really just a fancy sounding word for celery root. Pictured below, it looks sort of like a rutabaga and sort of like a root ball...which it is. It's the bottom half of the celery plant, the part doing all the behind-the-scenes work slurping water out of the ground. And it is my favorite.
Celeriac has the texture of a potato; starchy and rich in flavor, it makes a great thickener in soups, can be made into a mash, and can really replace potatoes in any dish. It adds a ton of celery flavor without the stringiness of using celery stalks or the added sodium of celery salt. It also makes a mean cream of celery soup...but thats another post, for another day. Lets get back to the real star here: all that yummy quinoa stuffing.
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
3/4 cup diced celeriac (celery root)
3/4 cup diced butternut squash
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon ground thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Rinse quinoa, pour in a sauce pan with 2 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Avoid stirring and let boil until the quinoa absorbs all the remaining water, about 10-15 minutes. [Tip: For guaranteed perfect quinoa, after all the water is absorbed, turn the heat off and let it sit in the pan with the cover on for at least 10 more minutes. The quinoa will absorb any remaining water left in the pan and stay moist and fluffy!] Set aside in a large mixing bowl.
Melt about a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Chop the garlic, onions, butternut squash, and celeriac, and add it to the oil. Cook on medium, stirring frequently, until veggies are fork tender- about 20 minutes. Once the veggies are softened, add the thyme, sage, salt and pepper and stir coat evenly.
Add the veggies to the quinoa in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Pour in the chopped parsley, hazelnuts, and olive oil and toss until everything is evenly distributed.
Now, let's eat!
Tip: Make the quinoa a day or so ahead of time and refrigerate until you're ready to use it on Thanksgiving day. Its way easier and one less thing to worry about!
Saves well in the fridge for about a week. & makes great lunch leftovers.