Anyone else totally grossed out by the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino but secretly…in the harrowing, dark shadows of the midnight hour, sort of want to stumble upon a Grande in a dim alleyway and get a taste of that sweet, sweet, vibrant nectar? Just to say ya did. And also maybe to snap a Boomerang for your Instagram Story. Just to ya know, say ya tried it.
Anyone else? No one? Kay. Well then, I guess stay tuned for next week’s True Confessions of a Food Blogger; things are about to get freakeh’
And sit tight for this recipe because it’s one you don’t want to miss.
These Spring Beet Dumplings are a fusion of sorts. Spring flavors like fresh shelled green peas and zippy chives mingle with savory shiitake mushrooms and creamy goat cheese striking the perfect balance between nutritious and decadent. The mixture is then encased in bright red dumpling dough (colored naturally, of course- with beets!) which is surprisingly simple to make and also surprisingly easy to stay away from. *hint hint* *wink wink*
But why beet dough? Because it’s a beautifully unique color, it’s a cinch to make, plus– Check it: beets are nutritional powerhouses.
The nitrates inside beets sorta act like Moses parting the red sea when we eat them. Alright that got weird fast… To clarify: nitrates get converted to nitric oxide inside our bodies and dilate our blood vessels, opening them up wider so oxygen and blood can blast through instead of trickling down super slow like a donut intertube floating down the lazy river. Hence: beets increase circulation and may decrease your blood pressure. If you have hypertension, pre-hypertension, or heart problems, repeat after me: beets are my bff.
Spring Beet Dumplings
Makes: ~12 dumplings
For the beet dough *make this first*
- 3 medium-large beets, chopped into quarters
- 2 cups water
- Pinch of sea salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
For the green pea & shiitake filling:
- 1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame or extra-virgin olive oil
- 3.5 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and chopped coarsely
- 3 tablespoons fresh chives, minced
- 1 1/2 cups fresh shelled green peas (or frozen and then thawed)
- 3 ounces goat cheese
- Sea salt and black pepper
- Sesame seeds
- Scallions, sliced
- First make dat red dough. Place chopped beets in a food processor and pulse until a finely ground pulp. Combine beet pulp with water and a pinch of sea salt in a saucepan and boil for 5 minutes on high heat. Remove from heat, strain beet pulp and reserve water. Let water cool for 2-3 minutes. You might want to wear an apron- that bright red water really wants to claim your white t-shirt as its bitchlover.
- Give the food processor a quick rinse and dry. Then add the 2 cups of flour and 1 1/2 cups of the just-boiled red water. Pulse until a slightly sticky dough ball forms. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the dough feels dry. When the dough ball is sticky but still holds its shape. Take it out of the food processor, give it a quick dusting with flour, and place in a plastic bag to steam for a 15-20 minutes.
- While the dough is doughin’ (sorry) it’s thang, heat up the toasted sesame or extra-virgin olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the shiitake mushrooms and saute for a good 4-5 minutes, until mushrooms begin to brown and wilt. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, remove from heat, and place in a medium mixing bowl. Add chives, green peas, and goat cheese, along with another generous sprinkle of salt and pepper, and mix until combined. The cheese will melt slightly as it comes into contact with the mushrooms, and that’s a-okay.
- When dough is ready, transfer from the bag onto a generously floured surface. Divide the dough ball in half, and divide each half into another 3 balls. Divide those until you end up with 12 dough balls total. Take each one, and using a rolling pin, roll into small flat circles. Place a heaping dollop of filling in each circle and use your fingers to envelope it inside and pinch it shut. You can use your middle and index fingers along with your thumb to sort of twist the top of the dumpling shut. Repeat until all dumplings are formed and ready to rock n roll.
- To steam the dumplings, if you have a bamboo steamer, use the force. If not, use a metal steamer lined with parchment paper (poke holes in the paper so steam can still get in) and fill a large wok or saucepan (just make sure it’s big enough the steamer doesn’t touch the edges of the pan) with 1-2″ water and boil the water. Place the dumplings in the steamer, using steamer papers/parchment paper with holes poked in each tier and steam for 7-8 minutes. I actually had to look this part up and ummm… click here if you need further clarification).
- Remove from heat, let cool, garnish with sesame seeds and scallions, and getcho’ dumplins on.