Winter Greens Dumplings

January 13, 2014

Winter Greens Dumplings

Sara Jones, Tucson CSA

If you have greens piling up in your fridge, this is a great way to deal with them. This recipe uses several bunches of greens. The prep for the recipe takes a little while, but will give you about 8-10 servings. You can freeze the dumplings to add to soups and stews in place of noodles. Or boil, drain and fry in butter and garnish with parmesan cheese for a side dish. For the demo this week, the dumplings are cooked in a simple marinara sauce.

2-4 bunches of greens, washed, thick stems removes (you need about 3 cups of blanched and finely chopped greens)
1 tablespoon butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 16-ounce container of ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 ½  cups flour, start with 1 cup flour and add more as needed to bind
2 eggs
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and/or 2 tablespoons chopped dill, optional

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Working in batches, drop large handfuls of greens in water and boil for 1-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the leaves. Remove blanched greens from pot and place in a bowl of icy water. Squeeze water from greens and set bunch aside. Repeat until you have about 3 cups of greens. You want to remove as much water as you can from the greens so squeeze and twist hard. Lay blanched bunches of greens on a cutting board and chop finely, or pulse in a food processor. Squeeze chopped greens to further remove water.

Sautée garlic in butter just to release fragrance. Combine all ingredients (starting with 1 cup flour). Mix well. Mixture will be sticky, but not too sticky to work with. Test dough by dropping a 1 inch ball into boiling water. The dumpling should hold together, though some greens may float off. If dumpling falls apart, add flour, a few tablespoons at a time until test dumpling holds together.

Coat hands in flour and grab a tennis ball size chunk of dough. On a well floured cutting board, roll dough into an approximately 6-inch log. Cut log in half lengthwise, then cut each half lengthwise again to make four small logs. Sprinkle with flour and roll each piece to smooth out edges. Line pieces up and use a large knife to cut into one inch dumplings. Toss dumplings onto a floured baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

To use: Add dumplings to hot soup or marinara sauce, stir gently and cover to steam for about 15 minutes. To serve as a side dish, cook dumplings in boiling water for about 5-6 minutes. Drain. Heat a few tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium high, and add dumplings. Stir to coat with butter and cook until beginning to brown. Remove from skillet and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

To freeze: lay dumplings on a baking sheet in a single layer and place in freezer until frozen through. Put in a freezer bag to store. Do not defrost dumplings! To use, add straight to boiling water and cook for about 8-10 minutes or stir into a soup or sauce and cook for 20 minutes.

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