Sunday, August 25, 2013


It's winter in NZ, which makes hearty root foods really nice and season appropriate. Winter foods can sometimes appear to be bland, even if they are exceptionally delicious. I really wanted to make something that was vibrant, earthy, and flavorful, and these totally did the trick. I wanted to taste really flavourful vegetables. I put the dumplings in a leek soup too, which was really good, if a little predictable and a victim of the monotone winter appearances. These turned out really delicious, and I'll probably start to put them on a regular roster. They were also really easy to make, and the puree was so good, even though I admit, it uses tomato paste rather than fresh tomatoes, but it really isn't tomato season here so that's about as good as it gets. It's also a really good condiment. I'm going to start just keeping it around and adding it to things. I also think it would be really good in a ravioli with some ricotta. I would definitely use this as an appetizer.

The recipe uses a lot of saucepans, but really only two if you use the same saucepans throughout the recipe, and you can relatively easily. Basically this recipe is all about boiling root vegetables, blending them, mixing them with other things, and recooking them.


Parsnip dumplings
4 regular sized parsnips
2 small potatoes
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup finely ground cornmeal
1/4 cup parsley
1 egg replacer
2 c vegetable broth
1/2 C white wine

Tomato and beet puree
tomato paste
3 beets
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
salt and pepper to taste


1. Peel and chop the parsnips and potatoes.

2. Place in a saucepan, cover with water, and heat on the stove to boil.

3. Mix the other ingredients together.

4. When the parsnips and potatoes are soft, drain them well.

5. Blend them in a food processor. Add to the other ingredients, add the chopped parsley and blend. Let it sit for at least half an hour.

6.  Chop the beets. Put them in a saucepan and fill with water until just covered. Boil until soft. Drain. I reuse the saucepan in step 9, so you can just throw it back on the stove.

7. Place beets, tomato paste, sundried tomatos, and olive oil in food processor. Blend until smooth.

8.  Take the dumpling dough and roll the dough into whatever shape you like. I rolled them into spheres about an inch thick, but they could easily be larger or smaller. Smaller ones will overcook really quickly, so you have to keep a speedy watchful eye on them.

9. Put beet mixture in a saucepan. Heat on medium.

10. Put broth and wine in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to low. Take about half a cup of the mixture, and add it to the beet mixture. It can be a little liquidy - it will boil off. Mix the beet mixture every once and a while.

11. When the broth is at a low simmer, add the dumplings. Make sure it isn't a rolling boil. If they won't all fit, do it in batches. Cook for 3-5 minutes, depending on the size of the dumpling. Remove with slotted spoon and drain in a colander. Once all the dumplings are done, I save the broth to throw in a stew, or leek soup. It can be an excellent contribution to a stew base.

12. Alternatively, you can heat up a frying pan with a little vegan butter and fry them just a little quickly to get any excess liquid off. They may desire to be stuck to the pan, so you have to be a tad careful.

13. Put beet mixture on a plate. Spoon on some dumplings. Garnish with something green, if you so desire.

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