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CSA Cookoff: Butternut Squash and Dumplings



THE CHALLENGE
The biggest challenge here was thinking of a name that does this cozy fall meal justice. “Veggie stew” sounds too generic, and “root vegetables and dumplings” doesn’t share enough credit with the mushrooms and the butternut squash that give this dish its earthy richness. Even the word “stew” is a misnomer, since it seems to imply hours of simmering on the stove.

THE SOLUTION
Butternut squash and dumplings it is. From start to finish, including all chopping, this recipe took less than an hour and could be made with any root veggies (parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes) you have on hand. We got our inspiration from Iron Chef Michael Symon—
our new idol since we spotted him wearing a Farm Aid T-shirt on “The Chew” (that's him at right)—but we were free and breezy with substitutions based on what we received in this week’s farm share. We used store-bought stock, but check out Symon’s original recipe for instructions on making mushroom stock from scratch and for his recommended list of veggies.

FOR THE STEW
Makes 8 servings; *indicates an item from our farm share
» 2 qt stock
» 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced*
» 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced or pressed
» 3 T olive oil
» 2 c fresh mushrooms (we used crimini)
» 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1-inch cubes*
» 2 turnips, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes*
» 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into quarter-inch coins*
» 1 celeriac, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes (celery works, too)
» 1 bunch fresh oregano or thyme*
» 1/8 t nutmeg
» Salt and pepper to taste

FOR THE DUMPLINGS
» 1 c flour
» 1 T baking powder
» ½ c half-and-half, plus a little extra
» Salt and pepper to taste

THE DIRECTIONS
Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed 6-qt pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté onion and garlic until fragrant, 2 minutes. Turn heat to high and add mushrooms to sauté; season with salt and pepper. After 2 minutes, add remaining veggies and season with a bit more salt. Cook until veggies achieve a slight char, about 3 minutes. Add stock, oregano, nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook about 12 minutes, until veggies are tender.

While the stew is cooking, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in the half-and-half, adjusting the consistency as needed. Dough should be similar to a wet drop biscuit. After the stew has cooked about 12 minutes, drop large teaspoonfuls of the dumpling mix into the simmering pot. Cover and steam for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and eat, preferably while wearing your own Farm Aid T-shirt. (Hey, some gentle sibling promotion can't hurt, right?)

STILL HUNGRY? Browse the CSA Cookoff file for more HOMEGROWN recipes.

PHOTOS: (STEW) JENNIFER; (SYMON VIDEO STILL) COURTESY OF THE CHEW

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