To be perfectly honest, I have never been a fan of stuffing. There is just something about stale, dry bread mixed with celery, that is not appetizing. If a food requires pouring gravy over it to make it delicious, I’d say it is pointless. Gravy on the other hand, now that is amazing. Full of nutrients, minerals, and other healthy components, bone broth smothered over a slab of turkey and vegetables is right up my alley. However, though I was never a fan of stuffing, I’ve seen how exited certain members of my family get when they hear my mom is making it for Thanksgiving. Therefore, I decided to duplicate the essence of stuffing (sans the bread, eggs, and dairy). With all the same flavors, this recipe smells EXACTLY like stuffing when put into the oven to bake. Because taro does not necessarily have a strong, distinct flavor, it works perfectly in place of normal bread. Unlike other vegetables that you and (or) your family may have never cooked with, it is by far one of the least offending foods out there, which makes it quite easy for anyone to love. If you are not familiar with this vegetable, it is a starchy tuber typically found in Asia, West and South Africa, as well as the Pacific Islands, and is probably one of the greatest nightshade-free potato substitutes. Originally, taro had over 300 varieties grown in Hawaii, due to its popularity, especially in the classic dish “Poi.” However, the differing types have dwindled to around 10. Taro comes from a perennial herbaceous plant that grows 5-6 feet big, whose leaves look like big elephant ears. Typically, the tuber grows best in humid, hot, and moist climates, which is why you will probably not be seeing it at your local farmer’s market here in America. Taro will always have a inner white flesh, and depending on the variety, will sometimes be speckled with purple (my personal favorite).Both Whole Foods and ethnic grocery stores carry taro, however, if you cannot find it anywhere near you, I have also ordered it through Amazon. There is nothing funnier than the mail lady dropping off a package with a whole taro inside. My mom and I always joke that, it is a good thing the workers didn’t open the package in the office, as they would have been very confused. Naturally, taro averages around the size of a medium sized potato, with furry brown skin that reminds me of a coconut. If you are interested in buying this tuber online to get in time for Thanksgiving, you can do so here. Overall, though I have never had stuffing, this recipe is so identical in the taste and smell of the classic dish that, even my younger brother walked in the kitchen and asked my mom if someone was cooking stuffing – SCORE! I hope you will enjoy it, even if it is not for Thanksgiving, as this dish is fitting for any occasion.
Herbed Thanksgiving Stuffing
- 1 1/2-2 lb taro root
- 1 cup celery – chopped into crescents
- 2 medium onions – chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh sage
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 cup cranberries
- 1 small apple – skinned, cored, and chopped
- 3 tbsp duck fat
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- Place taro in steamer basket and steam for 10-15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Once fork tender, dump taro into a strainer to cool for a few minutes.
- Next, use a knife to cut of the furry skin of the taro, and then cut into like-size wedges, putting into a mixing bowl.
- Add to the bowl the chopped onions, sliced celery, cranberries, chopped apple, sea salt, and herbs.
- On a large, sided baking sheet, dollop 3 tbsp of duck fat, and stick sheet into the oven to melt.
- Once melted, take out of the oven and spread stuffing mixture out onto it, mixing with the oil by hand.
- Place in preheated oven to bake for 50-60 minutes.
John 17:17 “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”