Wednesday, August 27, 2008

i made butternut-sage dumplings

several months ago melissa and sarah and i made these, and they were delicious, and a lot easier to make than i expected. we tried them fried, steamed, and simmered in a light brothy soup. simmering turned out to be (in my opinion) the best way to cook the wrapper so that it didn't overpower the filling, which was both delicate and savory -- light and lemony and grassy and creamy.

then a couple weekends ago sarah brought home an early butternut squash, and although i love butternut squash i am not ready to cook like autumn is approaching. so we split it lengthwise and scooped out the seeds, gave it a brushing of olive oil and a sprinkling of kosher salt, and put it face-down on the grill. can't get more summery than the grill. we had a great summer dinner on our new patio in our new-old patio furniture -- skewered vegetables and grilled onions and spiced sausages and my favorite mustard -- and then we checked on the squash halves and they were beautiful, tender and caramelized and striped with grill marks.

we brought the squash inside and peeled off the skin, then mashed it and tasted it different ways. it was great plain with cayenne, great with butter and white pepper. then we moved on to bigger and better things: butternut dumplings.

we improvised -- chopped sage and thyme fresh from our garden, some ricotta but not too much, lemon zest and a bit of lemon juice, salt and a little minced shallot. it tasted really good -- delicate and savory, just like the pea filling -- but with that burnt-sugar warmth in there too, not too delicate to stand up to a good dumple-ing.

to make a long story short: they were really good. and the leftover filling was awesome for lunch the next day, stirred into some spaghetti with olive oil and black pepper. i love improvised successes, and i love multi-talented food. sorry we have no pictures of the dumplings -- but anyhow the best part was on the inside.

No comments: