Week 9- You had me at “dumpling”

Oh boy, I could have gone all day with beet recipes. They are so amazing and versatile. If you don’t want to bother with the stew, try impressing your friends with the gourmet crostini. (Even just saying “crostini” will feel fancy.)

Root Vegetable Stew with Herbed Dumplings

  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 ounces Italian pork sausage
  • 2 pounds assorted root vegetables and cabbage, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, or rosemary
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups chopped dark, leafy greens, such as beet, chard or kale

Dumplings

  • 1 1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, or rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 milk
  1. To prepare stew: Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add sausages and cook until browned on all sides, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a clean cutting board. Let cool slightly and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  2. If using parsnips, quarter lengthwise and remove the woody core before dicing. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until barely tender, about 4 minutes. Add root vegetables and cook for 5 minutes. Add garlic and sage (or rosemary) and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a simmer, stirring often.
  3. To prepare dumplings: Meanwhile, whisk whole-wheat flour, cake flour, sage (or rosemary), baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add egg and milk and stir until a stiff batter forms.
  4. When the stew reaches a simmer, stir in greens and the sausage and return to a simmer. Drop the dough, about 1 tablespoon at a time, over the stew, making about 18 dumplings. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover and cook undisturbed until the dumplings are puffed, the vegetables are tender and the sausage is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Roasted Beet Crostini

  • 1 bunch beets with greens attached,  (see Tip)
  • 16 1/2-inch-thick slices baguette, preferably whole-grain, cut on the diagonal
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, or red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces creamy goat cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Trim greens from beets, reserving stems and greens. Place the beets in a baking pan, cover with foil and roast until very tender when pierced with a knife, 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the size of the beets. Uncover and let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
  3. While the beets cool, arrange baguette slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake, turning the slices over once halfway through, until toasted but not browned, about 14 minutes.
  4. Thinly slice the beet green stems and finely chop the leaves; keep stems and leaves separate. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the stems and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the greens, vinegar and water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender and the liquid has evaporated, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in salt and remove from the heat.
  5. Peel the cooled beets and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place 3/4 cup beet pieces, goat cheese and pepper in a food processor and puree until smooth (reserve the remaining beets for another use).
  6. To assemble crostini, spread about 2 teaspoons beet-cheese spread on each slice of toasted baguette and top with sautéed greens.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4, store the beet spread and greens separately in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before assembling.
  • Tip: Look for bunches of beets with 2 to 3 medium-to-large beets for this recipe. If you have trouble finding beets with greens still attached, use loose beets plus 3 cups finely chopped chard greens and thinly sliced stems.
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