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Author Notes: These dumplings should dispel any prejudices about dumplings being heavy fare. They are light and melt in your mouth yet they have enough substance to soak up the gravy that comes with a roast, or slow-roasted meat or poultry of any other sort. And the color is quite striking.
I only recently discovered them. They originate in Tyrol, a mountainous region that belongs partly to Austria and partly to Italy. I adapted the ingredients for North American cooks, tweaked the recipe in a few other ways, the most important of which is cooking the beets in the oven in a covered casserole instead of boiling them, my number 1 rule for beets to concentrate their flavor.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 small cooked beet, peeled (about 3.5 ounces)
- 2 eggs
- 1¾ ounces Gorgonzola
- 4½ ounces dried crustless white bread
- 3 tablespoons flour, more as needed
- 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Melt the butter in a small skillet and cook the onion until translucent and soft, stirring often. Set aside to cool.
- Process the beets with the eggs and the Gorgonzola in the food processor or blender until smooth.
- Cut the bread in small cubes and place them in a large bowl. Pour the beet mix over them. Add the cooled onion and mix everything until well combined. Add 3 tablespoons flour and mix well. Add the chives and salt to taste. Cover and let stand for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. Reduce the heat to a mere simmer. Place a thumbnail-size test dumpling in the simmering water. If it holds, the consistency is fine; if it falls apart, add more flour to the mix, one tablespoon at a time.
- With wet hands shape dumplings of about 1.5 inches in diameter and place them in the simmering water. Do not overcrowd the pot; the dumplings should not touch each other. Simmer until the dumplings float on the surface, about 10 to 15 minutes. When they are done, remove them with a slotted spoon to a warmed serving bowl. Cover with a lid to keep them warm until serving.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Root Vegetable Side