This is the first entry in a series of Thanksgiving food posts. By the time we hit the holiday, I'll have you prepared to make most of the classic side dishes in a way that everyone can eat.
Stuffing is my personal favorite Thanksgiving food. This captures the flavors of the dish in a satisfying way while also being nothing at all like the real thing because it's made with pumpkin. Also, I know there are probably many of you who think that fruit of some kind goes in here? That's gross, sorry. (Just kidding, you do you.)
3 cans of pumpkin
2 cups soaked and dried walnuts (recipe below)
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 head celery, finely chopped
4 T butter, ghee, or olive oil
2 t dried sage and thyme (1 t if using powder)
1/2 t ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350. In a large pot, heat butter or oil, add onions, celery, black pepper, thyme, sage and some salt, and cook, stirring to prevent sticking, until both the celery and onions are very soft. Remove from heat and mix in the cans of pumpkin until well incorporated. Taste for salt and add more as desired. Spread this mixture evenly in a greased 8x11 baking dish and top with walnuts, drizzle with olive oil. Bake until the top is crusty--around an hour.
For the walnuts:
Place the walnuts in a bowl or jar and cover with water. Allow them to soak for 4-6 hours, then drain and rinse. Spread them on a parchment-paper-lined baking dish and bake at 200 until thoroughly dried out, stirring every 10-15 minutes at first and more frequently toward the end.