Monday, November 17, 2008

Getting to the Root of it

If you have visited your local Farmers Market recently you probably noticed the variety of root vegetables available. Most of us are a little intemedated by the strange shapes, colors and textures of these veggies and find it hard to imagine what to make with a rutabaga or a turnip. So here is a yummy recipe that will help you enjoy these seasonal wonders.

Root Vegetable Stew with Herb Dumplings
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces Italian sausage (hot or sweet)
2 pounds assorted root vegetables
1 large onion diced
4 cloves garlic
1 tbls chopped sage or rosemary
4 cups chicken broth
3 cups chopped dark leafy green of your choice
Salt and pepper to taste

1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all purpose or cake flour
1 tbls chopped sage or rosemary
1 tbls baking powder
1 large egg
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/4 tbls salt

1. To prepare stew: Heat 2 tbls oil in a medium skillet add sausages and cook until brown on all sides (5 minutes). Transfer to cutting board, when cool slice into 1 inch pieces.
2. Heat the remaining oil in a Dutch Oven or large pot. Cook onion until tender (4 minutes). Add chopped root vegetables (make sure all the pieces are the same size) cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add garlic and sage, cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add broth, salt and pepper and bring stew to a simmer. Stir often.
3. To prepare dumplings: Whisk flour, pastry flour, sage, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Add egg and milk, stir until a stiff batter forms.
4. When stew reaches a simmer, stir in greens and sausage and return to a simmer. Drop 1 tbls of dough at a time (making about 10 dumplings). Adjust heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover and cook undisturbed for 10 minutes. 
5. When ready the vegetables should be tender, the sausage cooked through and the dumplings puffed.
Serves 6 - 1 hour prep and cook time

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